22 Indian troopers killed in Maoist rebel ambush

A paramilitary soldier injured in a gunbattle with Maoist rebels on Saturday is brought for treatment at a hospital in Raipur, India, Sunday, April 4, 2021. India on Sunday recovered the bodies of 22 police and paramilitary troops who were killed in a gunbattle with Maoist rebels a day earlier in the forests of the eastern Chhattisgarh state. - AP

NEW DELHI, April 4 (dpa): At least 22 security personnel had been killed in a gun battle with Maoist rebels in the forests of the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police said on Sunday.

The gun battle lasted more than three hours on Saturday after multiple teams of paramilitary troops and police commandos launched an operation to weed out rebels in the forests of southern Bastar region known to be a Maoist stronghold, Chhattisgarh deputy chief minister Tamradhwaj Sahu said.

One of the patrol teams was ambushed by a group of rebels near Jonnaguda village in Sukma district, leading to a fierce exchange of fire.

The bodies of five troopers were recovered on Saturday and the more than two dozen injured were rescued, deputy inspector general of Chhattisgarh police OP Pal said.

By midday on Sunday, the bodies of 17 more troopers had been found. Search operations continued for an unspecified number of missing personnel.

The bodies of two rebels, one a woman, were also recovered from the site.

The injured were being treated at the district hospital in Bijapur while some were airlifted to the state capital Raipur.

India's left-wing guerrillas, who reject parliamentary democracy, say their armed rebellion aimed to secure rights for the poor and marginalised.

They operate in forest belts in several states across India.

Chhattisgarh is one of the states worst affected by the Maoist insurgency, which has left more than 3,300 civilians, militants and security personnel dead over the last two decades, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal. - dpa
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Indian , Soldiers , 22 Dead , Gun Batlle , Maoist Rebels


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