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Ambush on police kills five in India

Ambush on police kills five in India

Communist rebels ambushed police in eastern India, sparking a fierce battle that killed five of the officers and left seven more missing and feared dead, a news agency reported yesterday.
The assault was the latest in a series of brazen attacks by the Maoist rebels, who hold sway over a wide swath of grindingly poor forest communities and farming villages largely left out of India's economic boom.
The police were ambushed Wednesday in Chhattisgarh, an eastern Indian state, while they were on their way to provide security for a roadwork crew, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, citing the state's police chief, Vishwaranjan. The officer only uses one name.
The attack and ensuing gunbattle took place in a remote area nearly 1,500 kilometers southeast of New Delhi, and details of the incident remained scant yesterday. Authorities in Chhattisgarh were not immediately available for comment.
But PTI, citing officials, said reinforcements sent to the scene of the attack had recovered the bodies of five policemen and were searching for seven others who were missing.
The forests and isolated farming villages of the so-called red corridor, which stretches from India's central hinterlands to its east coast, have provided a haven for the rebels since the insurgency erupted in 1967.
The communist rebels, known as the Naxalites, say they are fighting for land and jobs for the rural poor. It's a rallying cry that has resonated with many people, especially the region's indigenous peoples, who live on some of the country's richest mineral deposits and amid its largest timber reserves but rarely benefited from them.
After festering for decades with small attacks here and there, the insurgency is now spread across 13 of India's 28 states and the rebels, known as the Naxalites, are believed to have about 6,000 fighters in an increasingly well-armed force.


Updated : 2021-05-09 07:23 GMT+08:00