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Maoist Attack Kills 25 Police Officers in India

Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol a Maoist stronghold. (File Photo)Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol a Maoist stronghold. (File Photo)

India’s decades-long Maoist insurgency has claimed more lives in what Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced as a “cowardly attack”.

At least 25 police officers were killed and six others injured on Monday when hundreds of suspected Maoist rebels attacked a convoy in central India, officials told CNN.

Since 2010, Maoist rebels have killed about 2,100 civilians and 800 security force personnel as part of their ongoing conflict with the Indian government, according to official figures.

Indian Maoist—or Naxalite—groups have been active in the country since the 1960s, but the modern insurgency did not begin until the early 2000s with the emergence of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and its armed wing, the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.

According to police superintendent, Jitendra Shukla, around 70 members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force were patrolling a road construction project in Chhattisgarh state’s Sukma District when they were ambushed.

The security forces were hit by heavy gunfire from about 500 Maoist rebels hidden in the dense forests they were passing through, CRPF spokesman, Siroj Kujur, told CNN.

Kujur said 23 officers died at the scene and one died later in the hospital. Seven officers were also injured in the attack.

This is the second attack on CRPF troops in Chhattisgarh in less than two months. In March, 12 officers died in a suspected Maoist attack on another convoy in the same district.

The death toll in Monday’s incident equaled that of a 2013 attack on a government motorcade that killed 24 and injured more than 30.

 

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