Friday, December 05, 2008

Maoist rebels kill 5 police officers in east India

4 hours ago

PATNA, India (AP) — Suspected Maoist rebels killed five police officers Friday in an ambush in eastern India, officials said.

The police were returning after a routine patrol to Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand, when suspected Maoist rebels sprayed their vehicle with gunfire, said local police official S.N. Pradhan. The rebels killed all five police officers and stole their weapons.

The attack occurred near Tamar, a town 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Ranchi, where Maoists have a strong presence.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.

Called Naxalites after Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal state where the movement was born in 1967, the rebels have frequently targeted police and government officials, charging authorities with plundering the region's rich natural resources with little benefit to local residents.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in the insurgency

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