Three Maoists were killed in an encounter with Jharkhand Jaguar Special Task Force (STF) and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Peerhi forest near Garu in Latehar district on Monday morning.

The encounter took place less than 15 km from Katiya forest where 11 security personnel of CRPF and Jharkhand Jaguar STF were killed by Maoists on January 7.

Senior police and CRPF officials claimed that the security personnel had killed seven Maoists. “The encounter began at 9 30 am based on an intelligence input shared by the police officials in Latehar. Our men shot seven Maoists though the Maoists managed to take away four bodies with them when they fled,” said CRPF spokesperson IG M V Rao. “This was a large group of Maoists in battalion-like formation and there is still exchange of fire on.”

Ammunition including one INSAS rifle and two .315 rifles, and wireless sets and SIM cards were recovered, they said.