India: Maoist Rebels Kill Seven Paramilitary Soldiers

by
staff
Seven paramilitary soldiers have been killed in a clash between security forces and Maoist rebels in India's eastern Jharkhand state, police say.

Maoist rebels

Seven paramilitary soldiers have been killed in a clash between security forces and Maoist rebels in India's eastern Jharkhand state, police say.

At least nine other soldiers and policemen were injured in the battle in Latehar district on Monday.

Maoist rebels have carved out strongholds in a number of states in the north, east and centre of India.

They say they are fighting for communist rule and greater rights for tribal people and the rural poor.

Jharkhand police chief GS Rath told the Associated Press news agency that about 50 security personnel were attacked by the rebels.

Mr Rath said the paramilitary soldiers returned fire and the clash continued for several hours.

The bodies of seven paramilitary soldiers have been recovered from the spot.

India's Maoist insurgency began in West Bengal state in the late 1960s and has become, according to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the country's "greatest internal security challenge".

The Maoists control large areas of several states in a "red corridor" stretching from the north-east to central India.