18 Maoists die while fighting Indian army in Chhattisgarh: Police

JAGDALPUR, INDIA   -  At least 18 Maoist fighters were killed Tuesday after a clash with security forces, police told AFP. The guerrillas died in the remote eastern state of Chhattisgarh, which has seen a number of deadly assaults on Maoist forces this year. Bastar district police inspector-general Sundarraj Pattilingam told reporters that all 18 had died in Kanker district, south of the state capital Raipur.

“Three security personnel also received injuries, but they are walking,” he added. Around 70 Maoists have been killed in India this year, according to police figures, the vast majority in Chhattisgarh. India has deployed tens of thousands of security personnel to battle Maoist rebels across the insurgent- dominated “Red Corridor”, which stretches across central, southern and eastern states but has shrunk in size. The insurgents, who are known as Naxalites and say they are fighting for the rural poor, have carried out guerilla attacks since 1967. New Delhi has pumped millions of dollars into infrastructure development into remote areas, and claims to have confined the insurgency to 45 districts in 2023, down from 96 in 2010.

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