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10 Maoists die in clash with Indian police
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (UPI) Apr 17, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Police said at least 10 rebel Maoists were killed during a clash in a remote area of the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.

The fighting took place in the tribal Bastar area, close to the border with Andhra Pradesh, a report by India's Times News Network said.

Security forces claimed they injured a large number of rebels and recovered arms and ammunition, including Indian-made INSAS rifles -- Indian Small Arms System -- and .303 rifles, from around the area of fighting.

It's not known whether the slain rebels were recovered by the security forces as the Maoists usually take away the bodies of their dead comrades, the TNN report said.

However, a report by the Press Trust of India said the bodies of the dead were recovered, as well as 11 automatic weapons.

Security forces involved included a detachment of Greyhounds, an elite commando force in Andhra Pradesh.

The Greyhounds force was set up in 1989 specifically to counter the growing insurgency by Maoists, also called Naxalites after the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal state.

The Maoists formed in the late 1960s to demand the rural poor receive more of the wealth from exploiting natural resources, especially large mining projects.

Chhattisgarh is one of the states in what the government calls the Red Corridor because of the insurgency. Other states in the Red Corridor are West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and northern parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Clashes between Maoists, including splinter groups, and security forces result in the deaths of several hundred people a year.

In 2010 there were several major attacks by Maoists, including a train derailment that killed more than 150 people. In another attack, Maoists killed 26 policemen and last year dismembered 10 police officers in Chhattisgarh.

Rebels also put pressure on local people -- sometimes using brutal methods including kidnapping -- to persuade them not to work on government infrastructure projects.

A surge in deaths to more than 1,100 in 2009 prompted the government to launch Operation Green Hunt, an ongoing military offensive by 50,000 paramilitary soldiers working with regular police forces.

State and central government often talk to people representing Maoist groups -- usually from factions within the legal Communist Party of India -- to arrange cease-fires.

In March 2012, to help resolve the kidnapping of two Italians by Maoists, the government partly conceded to an insurgent demand to halt searches by security forces, a TNN report said at the time.


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