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Maoist rebels kill 2 policemen in ambush in central India

February 3, 2015

NEW DELHI (AP) — Police intensified a search Tuesday for Maoist rebels who killed two policemen and wounded six others in a remote jungle in central India, a top police official said.

The rebels ambushed a paramilitary police team in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh state late Monday, killing the two policemen instantly, said R.K. Vij, a director-general of police responsible for anti-rebel operations in the state.

There was a two-hour gun battle before the rebels fled into the forest, he said. A search of the forest was called off late Monday due to darkness, but it resumed early Tuesday.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than five decades to demand rights and jobs for the poor. They are active in several Indian states, but Chhatisgarh, one of India’s poorest, remains a hub of their struggle.

Thousands of people, mostly police and government officials, have been killed in rebel hit-and-run attacks as they demand a greater share of wealth from the area’s natural resources.

The government says the Maoists are the country’s most serious internal security threat.

Update hourly