Maoists kill 25 Indian police in rebel attack


At least 25 Indian security personnel have been killed after Maoist separatist rebels carried out an attack against a security camp in the East of the country.

About 20 rebels riding motorcycles launched the assault in West Bengal’s restive Midnapore district late Monday, killing the victims in a hail of gunfire and exploding landmines which started fires.

“This is the worst-ever attack by Maoists on security men in West Bengal,” state police inspector general Surojit Kar Purokasyatha told AFP.

An eyewitness at the camp, Rakesh Lepcha, a cook, described to the 30-minute long assault to TV channels. “I saw the rebels gunning down security men. It was a dreadful scene. I ran away to save my life,” he said.

The Maoists claimed responsibility for the attack in an interview with local TV channel Chabbis Ghanta (24 Hours), saying the assault was in response to arrests and an anti-Maoist government offensive called ‘Operation Greenhunt.’

The offensive, which has been launched in several Maoist-infiltrated states, aims to flush out the outlawed rebels from their strongholds.

The Maoist rebellion began as a peasant uprising in 1967 and has now spread to 20 of India’s 29 states. They claim to be fighting for the rights of impoverished tribal peoples and other victims of state violence.

New Delhi has offered talks with the Maoists, but only if they renounce violence.


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