PATNA, India, Aug 9, 2014 (AFP) - Fourteen Maoist insurgents were killed Saturday in a pre-dawn gun battle between two rebel groups in eastern India, police said.
It was the latest clash between factions of the ultra-leftist group.
"We strongly feel that it was a revenge attack to prove supremacy," Anurag Gupta, a senior officer of Jharkhand police, told AFP.
Police said Maoists gunned down members of a rival group in Palamu district of the mineral rich state of Jharkhand.
The police said the rebel group behind the killings left pamphlets at the site of killings.
Separatist and Maoist insurgencies affect large swathes of India's northeast, northwest and central regions.
The rebels say they are fighting authorities for land, jobs and other rights for poor tribal groups.
The Maoist insurgency has cost thousands of lives.
The rebels are believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states but are most active in forested, resource-rich areas in the states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.