27 Indian CRPF troops die in Maoist ambush

[More details are being reported in various media.  The Hindu newspaper reported, “Local journalists in Narayanpur said the attack occurred in the backdrop of a two-day bandh called by the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Sources said the attack took place near a hilly stretch known as the Jhadha Ghati, 3 km from Dhudhai. According to a PTI report, Maoist fighters opened fire from a hilltop as the soldiers were returning from their patrol.

“A large number of Maoist fighters surrounded the rear section of the CRPF party and opened fire,” said a source.

The Narayanpur-Orcha road is considered the gateway to Abujhmad, a 4000-sq. km. forested area that has been declared a “liberated zone” by the CPI (Maoist).”

No statement from the CPI(Maoist) party on this incident has  yet been seen.  But the AP story, below, repeats the government claim that the Maoists were also responsible for an April train derailment, which the Maoist party denied, as it is not their policy to target civilians.–ed]


PATNA, India — Maoist rebels killed at least 27 paramilitary troops in an ambush in eastern India on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bold attacks by the guerrillas, a senior police official said.

A 50-strong patrol of the Central Reserve Police Force was ambushed Tuesday evening on a routine patrol in a densely forested area in the Narayanpur district of Chhatisgarh state, said Sunder Raj, a senior local police official. Ten other troops were wounded, he said.

Few other details were immediately available from the remote area. It is a stronghold of the rebels, who are also called Naxals, after the village of Naxalbari where their movement started in the 1970s.

In recent months, the rebels have grown bolder despite a renewed government military offensive against them.

Late last month, officials blamed the group for causing a train derailment that killed nearly 150 people in West Bengal state. In April they killed 76 troops in an attack in Chhattisgarh.

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the rebels the country’s greatest “internal security threat.”

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