x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Indian police kill nine Maoist rebels

India's security forces have shot dead nine Maoist rebels during a gun battle in a remote forested area of central India.

RAIPUR // India's security forces today shot dead nine Maoist rebels during a gun battle in a remote forested area of central India.

"Nine Maoists have been killed in a gun battle with security forces and their bodies have been recovered," the police inspector general Himanshu Gupta said.

The battle was the latest in a simmering conflict pitting the left-wing insurgents against local and national authorities in the forests and rural areas of mainly central and eastern India.

The fighting took place in the thick forests of Sukma district, some 525 kilometres south of Chhattisgarh state capital Raipur.

"Eleven sophisticated weapons, including self-loading rifles, have been recovered from the battle site," Mr Gupta said.

Police commandos raided the area following an intelligence tip-off, Mr Gupta said, adding that no casualties were reported among the security forces.

In February, the guerrillas, who say they are fighting for the rights of tribal people and landless farmers, killed six policemen in a landmine attack in Bihar state.

The national government describes the Maoists as the country's most serious internal security threat.