Maoists kill 16 in attack on police

BHUBANESWAR Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:52pm IST

1 of 2. An injured Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel is taken to a hospital at Raipur in Chhattisgarh March 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

BHUBANESWAR (Reuters) - Maoist rebels ambushed police and killed 16 involved in a mine clearing operation in a remote part of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, police said, as the insurgents demonstrated their strength ahead of a general election next month.

The victims were clearing mines laid by rebels on a road through a densely forested area in the resource-rich state when the rebels attacked from all sides, according to a senior home ministry official.

The head of anti-Maoist operations in the state police force told Reuters one civilian was among the dead.

"Total death 16 ... including one civilian," R.K. Vij said in a text message sent from a helicopter after the attack. However, there were conflicting accounts of the death toll, with other officers telling local media at least 20 died.

Television images from the site showed a heavy truck smouldering with its tires burning.

The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swathe of central and eastern India, and grew in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industralisation.

The Maoists seek the violent overthrow of the Indian state but have so far not managed to spread significantly into urban areas. Attacks picked up slightly for the first time last year peaking in 2010.

"They attack us to demoralise us, they attack us to loot our weapons," said the ministry official, who asked not to be named.

The ambush was just a few miles from where rebels killed 27 people, including many senior political leaders, before state elections last year. The attacks seek to disrupt the electoral process, the official said.

"This time they know if we succeed in elections it will dent their reputation," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has previously described the Maoist insurgency as India's biggest internal security challenge.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Gottipati in New Delhi; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Simon Cameron-Moore)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Top News

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Kerry's India Visit

Kerry's India Visit

Kerry presses India on WTO deal ahead of arrival  Full Article 

Big Infra Deal

Big Infra Deal

Piramal, Dutch APG tie up for $1 bln infra investment  Full Article 

E-Commerce

E-Commerce

Amazon says to invest $2 billion more in India   Full Article 

Lupin Results

Lupin Results

Q1 net profit up 56 percent on higher U.S. drug sales   Full Article 

Twitter Results

Twitter Results

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 percent  Full Article 

Auto Sector

Auto Sector

VW closes in on Toyota as global auto leader  Full Article 

Fed Meeting

Fed Meeting

Fed seen trimming bond buys, could offer vague rate clues  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage