An official of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was killed when Maoists ambushed a joint police and central paramilitary forces (CPMF) party in Jamui district of Bihar early on Friday.
The security forces came under attack in the forested area near Lakhari village under Khaira police station of Jamui district in southeastern Bihar, about 160 km from the state capital.
"A joint combing operation of Bihar and Jharkhand police was being carried out with active participation of CPMF to flush out Maoists, when the ambush took place," said Ravindra Nath Tiwari, Jamui's officiating superintendent of police (SP), told HT.
The dead CRPF officer has been identified as Harikant Jha, a deputy assistant commandant with the 7th battalion of the central paramilitary force, said Tiwari.
Tiwari said the ultras suddenly emerged from their hiding place and started firing on the security forces, leading to an encounter.
"However, no explosives were used during the attack," he added.
Tiwari said he was not in a position to confirm whether there was any casualty on the Maoists' side.
More security personnel have been rushed to the spot as reinforcement for the combing party.
Official sources said the focus area of the ongoing combing operation has been widened and more forces were being deployed to cut off the escape route of the ultras, in the adjacent areas of Jharkhand.
Police said that the slain officials's body has been recovered and is likely to be brought to Dhanbad by late afternoon.
His wife and two minor children - a daughter and a son - are being flown from New Delhi to Ranchi by the afternoon flight.
Jha’s father was a journalist in Jharkhand's Dhanbad.
This is the latest in a series of Maoist attacks in Jamui, a hotbed of left wing extremism bordering the neighbouring state of Jharkhand which is affected as much by the violence.
Maoist guerrillas had blown up a state-run school in Jamui district on April 21 this year.
Two CRPF jawans were killed and three others injured in an explosive blast triggered by the Maoists on April 10, the day of polling for the Jamui Lok Sabha seat.
On March 29, 2014, Maoists had killed one person after abducting him along with three other men from Dhavatand in Jamui district.
Earlier, on March 14 this year, a group of armed Maoists had abducted seven labourers in Jamui.
In June last year, a group of around 200 Maoists had targeted the Dhanbad-Patna Intercity Express near Jamui district in Bihar, killing three persons and injuring six passengers.
A Bihar police special task force (STF) jawan was killed and two others were injured when Maoists opened fire on them in Jamui in September last year.
(With inputs from Vijay Murty)