The blast was triggered near Chandragarh More (circle) on the Tandwa-Nabinagar road, about 40 km from the district headquarters and 200 km from the state capital, Additional Director General of Police (Hqs) Ravindra Kumar told reporters in Patna.

The dead included the Officer-in-Charge of Tandwa police station Ajay Kumar, five Special Auxiliary Police personnel and the home guard driver of the jeep, Kumar said.

The police patrol was returning to the Tandwa police station after a meeting with the circle inspector in his office in Nabinagar, he said.

Five rifles belonging to the policemen were found from the blast site.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held an emergency meeting with Chief Secretary A K Sinha, Principal Secretary Home Amir Subhani and police chief Abhyanand, sources in the CMO said.

Senior police officers including Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) SK Bhardwaj, Inspector General of Police, Patna Range, Sushil Khopde, Deputy Inspector General of Police Magadh range, Bachhu Singh Meena and Aurangabad Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma visited the spot.

Bordering Palamu district of Jharkhand, Aurangabad is a hot bed of Maoists activities.

Seven persons, including a ward councilor, were killed on October 17 in a land mine blast under Khudwa police station in the district.

Three SAP personnel were killed and about 30 arms were looted by the ultras in an attack on their camp in the district in July this year.

Former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said, "Due to soft attitude of the minority Nitish Kumar government, Maoists and terrorists have an upper hand in Bihar in recent days."

RJD headed by Lalu Prasad also criticized the JD(U) government over law and order situation.

A report from Aurangabad said that Officer in-Charge Ajay Kumar was from Gaya district.

The five SAP personnel were Madhukant Jha of Saharsa, Shivji Rai of Chapra, Ashok Mehta of Purnea, Harinarayan Singh and Ajay Singh of Paliganj in Patna district.

Driver Surendra Kumar was from Aurangabad district. Three land mines were also found from near the spot.

(Agencies)

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