Indian Security Forces Kill 17 Maoist Rebels
At least 17 Indian Maoist rebels were killed during a gunbattle Friday with security forces in the central state of Chhattisgarh, a hotbed of left-wing extremism, police said.
The gunfight erupted in the early hours of the morning in a thickly forested area of Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, about 295 kilometers (184 miles) south of the state capital Raipur.
"In a fierce gunbattle in Farkeguda forest 17 Maoists were killed today," district police superintendent Prashant Agrawal told Agence France Presse by phone.
Six Maoists and six members of the security forces were wounded, he added.
Security forces are combing the area in search of more Maoist fighters, after the rebels ambushed a police patrol and shot dead six officers and a civilian in the state last month.
The Maoists have been fighting a deadly low-intensity war against authorities for decades for what they say are the rights of tribal people and landless farmers.
The government describes the guerrillas as India's most serious internal security threat.