Suspected Maoist guerrillas kill 10 police in India

Reuters/Press Information Bureau of India

Suspected Maoist guerrillas, including some female fighters, killed 10 Indian police officers during a landmine ambush in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police said on Friday.


The overnight attack came less than a day after another Maoist assault in the state killed five other officers in a gunfight when the rebels raided a police camp.

Indian security forces are struggling to combat the left-wing rebels, who are entrenched deep in jungles in much of eastern and northern India.

Chattisgarh chief of anti-Maoist operations, Ramniwas - who goes by only one name - said the attack took place late on Thursday night in Dantewada district which is a Maoist stronghold, 480 kilometres south of the state capital Raipur.

The attack was the latest in a series of strikes on often poorly-trained police.

In April 2010, a rebel ambush killed 76 police officers in Dantewada in the bloodiest single attack so far on the security forces.

The Maoist movement, which began in 1967, is fuelled by land disputes, police brutality and corruption, and has most support in the poorest and most deprived areas of India, many of which are also rich in natural resources.

Premier Manmohan Singh has called the insurgency India's main internal security threat and has urged state governments to increase pro-poor welfare measures to help counter the rebels.

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