Maoist rebels ambush soldiers in east India; 2 killed
PATNA, India (AP) — Maoist rebels in eastern India ambushed a unit of government forces on Sunday, leaving two soldiers dead and another wounded, police said.
The rebels attacked paramilitary soldiers after they were returning from a counterinsurgency operation in a forested area in the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh state, said police officer K.L. Dhruve.
The injured was airlifted to the state’s capital Raipur for treatment in a hospital. A reinforcement of police and paramilitaries sealed the area to hunt the attackers.
The Maoist rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the Indian government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers, the poor and indigenous communities.
The government has called the rebels India’s biggest internal security threat. With thousands of fighters, the rebels control vast swathes of territory.
The rebels, also known as Naxalites, have ambushed police, destroyed government offices and abducted officials. They have blown up train tracks, attacked prisons to free their comrades and stolen weapons from police and paramilitary warehouses.
In May, authorities said troops killed at least 44 suspected rebels in multiple raids in western India.