Raipur, Sep 17 (PTI) Three persons were killed in elephant attacks in Mahasamund, Jashpur and Balod districts of Chhattisgarh, taking the count of such fatalities to nine so far this month, a forest official said on Friday.

A 48-year-old employee of the health department was trampled to death by a tusker, when he tried to take selfies with the animal in a forest near Kona village of Mahasamund district on Thursday evening, the official said.

Ajay Tiwari, a peon at sub-health centre in Khatti village, was returning home from work, when he stopped midway after finding out about the movement of elephants and entered the forest, he said.

Despite being warned by villagers, Tiwari went too close to the jumbo and tried to take selfies with the animal on his phone, but the tusker suddenly charged towards him and crushed him to death, he said.

With this, four persons have been killed by elephants in the district this month alone, the official said, adding that villagers have been cautioned not to venture into forest, especially after dusk.

In a similar incident in Jashpur district, Virendra Ekka (35) was attacked by an elephant on a forested route between Khari Bahar and Junwain villages when he was travelling on a bicycle late on Thursday evening, another official said.

"There were no reports of movement of elephants in that area and it seems the animal had entered Jashpur from neighbouring Odisha," divisional forest officer (Jashpur) Srikrishna Jadhav said.

Forest personnel rushed to site and alerted residents of the villages in the area, he added.

Meanwhile, a 48-year-old man was killed by a pachyderm near Adjaal village under Dallirajhara forest range of Balod on Wednesday evening, officials said.

The victim Santosh Bhuarya had gone to see a herd of elephants near the village along with a few others.

When the herd charged towards them, other villagers managed to escape, while a jumbo caught hold of Bhuarya with its trunk and slammed him on the ground, killing him on the spot, it was stated.

According to the forest department, elephants have also destroyed crops in some villages in Dalli Rajhara area.

The kin of the three deceased were provided an immediate aid of Rs 25,000 each, while the remaining compensation will be disbursed on completion of necessary formalities, officials said.

With this, nine people have been killed in elephant attacks in the state so far this month, it was stated.

As per government records, 204 people were killed in elephant attacks, while 45 have jumbos died in the state in the last three years.

Several incidents of human-elephant conflict have been reported in a number of districts in the recent past.