Indian police ambush Maoist rebels, killing eight

Indian police ambush Maoist rebels, killing eight

NEW DELHI – Agence France-Presse
Indian police ambush Maoist rebels, killing eight

At least eight suspected Maoist rebels were killed in a gunfight with police who ambushed their hideout in southern India on Dec. 14.

The deaths are the latest in a long-running conflict between Indian authorities and the leftist rebels, who say they are fighting for the rights of marginalized tribal groups.

Police said they came under fire from the group when they ambushed a suspected forest hideout in Bhadradri Kothagudem district in the southern state of Telangana.

“Special police forces launched a search operation in the forest on Wednesday night to capture a group of extremists,” district police chief Ambar Kishor Jha told AFP.

“They came under fire and eight of the extremists were killed.”

Telangana is part of the so-called “red corridor” that passes through resource-rich areas of central, southern, western and eastern India and is mostly inhabited by underprivileged tribes.

The state was once a hotbed of Maoists rebels, but has managed to curb the insurgency through welfare schemes for tribal groups and a security crackdown.