Four suspected Maoists were killed in a mysterious blast in Andhra Pradesh's Warangal district early on Thursday.
Police said four suspected members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed in the blast in a hut in Amudalapally village of Bhupalapally mandal, 210 kms north of the state capital.
The powerful blast, which tore apart their bodies beyond recognition, sent panic among villagers, who came out of their houses and rushed to the scene.
Police suspect that the blast occurred when a bomb which the Maoists had with them for some future action, accidentally went off.
The district superintendent of police Soumiya Mishra, who visited the scene, said that investigations were on to establish the cause of the blast.
She said with the help of some of the papers and diaries found in the hideout, police could identify two of the killed as Prakal local area sub-committee commander of CPI (Maoist) Kumara Swamy alias Kiran and commander Ramakant.
Police suspect that the owner of the hut could also be among those killed. Police recovered double barrel guns from the scene.
This is the latest in the series of setbacks to the Maoist outfit that has been waging a four-decade-old struggle against the what it calls exploitation of farmers and poor and to usher in a communist revolution. The Maoist violence has so far claimed more than 6,000 lives in the state.
Meanwhile, police have stepped search operations in Nallamalla forests for the arms dump with the help of Srinivas Reddy alias Tech Madhu involved in the fabrication and supply of rockets and rocket launchers.
Tech Madhu and his wife Sudharani, wanted in connection with the supply of rockets to the Maoists from Chennai, surrendered to police in Warangal district on Tuesday.
Police had seized more than 1,000 rockets from different places in the state last month.