Seven Naxalites, including an accused in the killing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Member of Parliament Sunil Mahto, were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces at Phuljore in east Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.
Five men and two women Naxalites were among those killed in the gunbattle, DIG (Kolhan) Manoj Mishra, said.
Two ultras were killed in an exchange of fire with the Nagarik Suraksha Samiti, a vigilance organisation formed by villagers with tacit support of the district police, at Phuljhore bordering Orissa, Mishra said.
When a joint team of Central Reserve Police Force and local police rushed to the area to assist the NSS, an encounter took place with the ultras in which five Maoists were killed taking the toll to seven.
Among them was Vikash who was accused of killing Sunil Mahto on March 4 at Baghuria in Ghatsila, Mishra said.
The incident was a major blow for the ultra outfit after the Lango incident in 2003, when 11 Maoists were lynched by the villagers, police said.
Eight weapons and live cartridges were found from the spot, Mishra said.
Firearms looted from the police in the past were also recovered from the spot, he said.
"We are verifying the exact number of arms and ammunition," he said. Police officials of the adjoining state have been alerted.
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