Armed Maoists attacked a police outpost at Bansjor on the Orissa-Jharkhand border on Wednesday, killing a policeman and leaving seven others injured, two of them critically.
Police said that heavily armed 50 ultras fired and hurled bombs at the outpost in Simdega district of Jharkhand, 45 km from Rourkela. They also attacked a bus injuring a passenger.
All the eight injured were brought to the Ispat General Hospital where one of the policemen, identified as Sunil Sahay, was declared brought dead while the rest were being given medical treatment, police and hospital sources said.
The in-charge of the outpost Amar Nath Paswan was also injured in the attack.
However, Sergeant Major JK Jha said in Ranchi that nearly 500 Maoists attacked the outpost and hurled petrol bombs before firing indiscriminately at the police personnel.
He said 20 jawans manning the outpost retaliated the fire and bloodstains were found in the area where the Maoists took positions, indicating casualties on the Maoist side too.
Simdega Superintendent of Police D B Sharma, who visited the hospital to see the injured Jharkhand policemen, said three Maoists were believed to have been killed in the gunbattle and their bodies taken away by the ultras.
The Naxalites also entered Biramitrapur town and fired at a police station besides other targets, though no one was injured, police said.
A Ranchi-bound bus from Biramitrapur was attacked at a railway level crossing near Bansjor police outpost in Jharkhand.
Besides attacking the police outpost, the ultras also blocked the road at Kerai Ghati by placing wooden logs and planted a landmine to prevent policemen from moving in.
The injured policemen were identified as Sub-Inspector Amarnath Paswan, Nicodin Munda, Mohd Ibrahim, D N Kerketa, Maheshwar Mahato and S P Kerketa.