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Police say 37 Maoist rebels killed in western India

April 24, 2018

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 37 Maoist rebels were killed in two gunbattles between troops and insurgents in western India over the last three days, police said Tuesday.

Prashant Diwate, a police officer in Maharashtra state’s Gadchiroli area, said six rebels were killed overnight, and troops also recovered about 15 bodies of rebels killed in an earlier gunbattle on Sunday.

Police initially found 16 bodies from that clash but many bodies were washed away into a nearby stream and were found floating in the water on Tuesday, he said.

Diwate said police and paramilitary soldiers have been searching the area for several days.

The Maoist rebels, who claim inspiration from Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting India’s government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers and the poor. The rebels have thousands of fighters and are active in several parts of India.

They routinely attack government troops and officials and have been called India’s greatest internal security threat.

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