Palamu, Jharkhand: Twelve suspected Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Bihar's Palamu district in the early hours today.
The incident took place around 2:30 am in Bakoria village, about 140 kilometres from state capital Ranchi.
The police had received a tip-off that the Naxals would be travelling in a Mahindra Scorpio through the area. Accordingly, a team of the specialised CoBRA battalion and the district police were rushed to the spot.
As the vehicle approached the area, security personnel who were lying in wait, tried to stop it. On seeing the security personnel, the suspected men got down from the vehicle and opened fire. The security personnel retaliated and 12 Naxals were killed in the exchange that lasted for over an hour.
"Right now, we have recovered 12 bodies of the Naxals including the body of RKji who is a zonal commander and close to the supremo Arvindji who's a Communist Centre member," Additional Director General of Police (Operation) SN Pradhan told NDTV, adding "it is possible that there was another vehicle and some of them managed to escape." A search operation has been launched in the area.
Eight weapons, including an INSAS rifle, were recovered from the spot, police said.
In April last year, Naxals had ambushed a police vehicle which was returning from election duty after the third phase of Lok Sabha polls. Eight persons, including six policemen, were killed in that incident.