Three policemen and a prisoner were killed and 15 prisoners, including eight Maoists, escaped Friday when Maoist guerrillas attacked a police vehicle escorting another carrying prisoners in Jharkhand, police said.
"Three policemen and a prisoner were killed and eight Maoist prisoners managed to escape in the attack," director general of police GS Rath told IANS.
The rebels attacked the convoy to free their jailed comrades near Mohanpur on the Giridh-Dhanbad highway, around 210 km from here, around 4 pm. The incident took place near main town of Giridih.
According to police sources, around 60 to 70 Maoists, including women rebels, attacked the police party. They first hurled bomb at the vehicle carrying prisoners and shot dead its driver. A total of seven people, including five policemen and two prisoners, were injured in the attack.
Assistant sub-inspector Prabhunath Singh, two other policemen and a prisoner were killed in the gun battle. There were 32 prisoners in the vehicle and more than 15, including eight Maoists, escaped. According to police sources, the escaped Maoists include Paresh Mandal, a zonal commander of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist.
Maoists attacked the vehicle when the prisoners were being taken back to the jail after a court appearance.