While two policemen were killed at Fushro in an encounter during an abortive attempt by the ultras to rob a bank, nine died at Nawadih when they blew up an anti-landmine vehicle carrying additional force to Fushro, Bokaro Superintendent of Police L P Singh said.
Over 50 ultras, including women, who were waiting near the SBI branch at Fushro bazar, fired on two members of the police escort party when they emerged from the bank after depositing the money.
The two, who had escorted the bank personnel in ferrying money from another branch, died on the spot, others started firing towards the Maoists who fled after sometime without looting the bank.
The encounter which occurred between 1 and 2 pm also left four policemen injured. The SP said one of the two slain policemen was stabbed by a woman ultra after he took a bullet. A landmine blast was also triggered under an unoccupied stationary car nearby.
Police sources said a couple of ultras might have been hit by bullets but it could not be immediately confirmed.
The Maoists also blew up an anti-landmine vehicle at Sarubeda between Nawadih and Bermo killing nine Special Auxiliary Force personnel and wounding four others, he said.
The SAF men were being rushed to Fushro, about 30 km from Nawadih, as reinforcement at the encounter site. Six of them died on the spot, two on way to Bokaro General Hospital and one succumbed during treatment.
The vehicle blew up when it was over a culvert which had a powerful landmine planted underneath, Singh said.
Asked how so many people died despite it being an anti-landmine vehicle, a top police officer pleading anonymity said possibly its doors were not properly closed.
Friday's attack was the eighth one on the police by Maoists in Jharkhand this year with the last one being on Wednesday when 11 securitymen had lost their lives in a landmine blast in West Singhbhum district. The Maoists are observing a bandh in six states, including Jharkhand on Friday.