NEW DELHI – Indian police say at least seven Maoist rebels have been killed in the second major operation by security forces against their strongholds in a week.
Police officer Mohit Garg says security forces attacked the rebels on Friday after learning they were meeting in a forest hide-out in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh state.
He said seven rebels were killed in an exchange of gunfire. There were no immediate reports of casualties among the security forces.
Last week, at least 37 Maoist rebels were killed in gunbattles between government forces and insurgents in Gadchirolia in western Maharasthra state.
The Maoist rebels, who claim inspiration from Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting India’s government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers and the poor.