Indian security forces kill 29 Maoists in gunbattle

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

BHUBANESWAR, India: Indian security forces killed at least 29 Maoist rebels in a gunbattle in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, police said, days before the start of elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third straight term.

Kanker district, where the clash occurred, will vote in the second of seven phases in the elections on April 26 while neighbouring Bastar, a Maoist stronghold, votes in the first phase on Friday.

The rebels, who ascribe to a form of communism propagated by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, have waged a guerrilla-style struggle against the government, especially in central and eastern India, for decades, leading to periodic clashes and casualties on both sides.

Police officials said they received a tip-off about the presence of Maoists in the area on Tuesday and launched a raid that led to the gunbattle, which also injured three members of the security forces.