Fifteen security personnel were injured after suspected Maoists detonated an improvised explosive device buried under a dirt track in Kuchai block in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district on Tuesday morning, PTI reported. After the blast, the suspects opened fire at the personnel.

Inspector General of Police Ashish Batra said two of the injured are in a serious condition, PTI reported.

The security personnel were on a special anti-Maoist operation when the incident took place. They were airlifted to Ranchi for treatment, ANI reported. The area where the attack occurred has been cordoned off and a search operation has been initiated to search for the suspects who fled the site.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police DK Pandey said the Maoists planted the device to hinder the election process, ANI reported. “A joint operation by Central Reserve Police Force’s Cobra unit, Jharkhand Jaguar and Jharkhand Police is being conducted to clear the area,” Pandey said.