Ranchi, Nov 1, Four Maoists, including the top commander of the banned outfit PLFI, were killed in a gun battle with security forces in Jharkhand's Khuti district, police said on Wednesday.

The gunfight took place on Tuesday night near the Karo river. All four slain militants belonged to the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a police officer said.

They included Vivek Gope alias Maina Gope, who was one of the top Maoist commanders of the PLFI. The killing of Gope is being seen as a big setback for the PLFI.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of the state.