India says dozens of police dead after suspected Maoist attack

At least 73 police were killed in an attack early Tuesday by suspected Maoists in eastern India, authorities said.

India says dozens of police dead after suspected Maoist attack

At least 73 police were killed in an attack early Tuesday by suspected Maoists in eastern India, authorities said.

"Something has gone very wrong," Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said. "They seem to have walked into a camp or a trap."

"We have confirmation of 73 deaths in the attack. At least two dozen have been injured," Amresh Mishra, a senior police officer, told Reuters. Reinforcements trying to collect the dead bodies came under fire "by the Maoists" who have surrounded the area.

The rebels number between 6,000 and 8,000 hardcore fighters in nearly a third of the country's 630 districts. Each year they extort more than $300 million from companies, the government says.

Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are trying to expand their influence in east, central and southern India.

Thousands have been killed in the insurgency which began in the late 1960s.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2010, 16:18

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