Five Maoist rebels killed in eastern India

Other News Materials 27 April 2008 16:29 (UTC +04:00)

Five Maoist rebels were killed in a gun battle with security forces in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, news reports said Sunday.

Three rebels were arrested after the incident, IANS news agency reported quoting the police, the dpa reported.

The police said at least 100 activists of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)were planning to blow up the railway station in Koderma, about 150 kilometres north of Jharkhand capital Ranchi. Some of them were surrounded by the police and five rebels were killed in the gun battle that followed.

In another incident Saturday, three policemen and two Maoists were killed in an encounter in Dumka district of Jharkhand.

Maoist rebels, who claim to be fighting for the rights of the rural poor, tribal people and the landless, operate in 13 of India's 29 states.

Thousands of people, mostly police, paramilitary personnel and government officials, have been killed in the insurgency since the late 1960s.

Jharkhand, along with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, are two of the states where the Maoists are most active. The rebels operate in 18 of Jharkhand's 24 administrative divisions.