At least 17 Indian police were killed today when a routine patrol turned into a deadly gunbattle with hundreds of Maoists in a forest in Maharashtra.
Today’s attack came just a day after a high profile speech in which officials promised to continue to engage the Maoists until they surrendered.
The attack was the deadliest in months in a battle which has endured for decades. The Maoist factions, colloquially referred to as Naxalites because of a Maoist rebellion in the village of Naxalbari, have killed more than 6,000 people over the last 20 years.
In July, the Maoists launched a series of apparently coordinated attacks, killing at least 36 police in the central state of Chhattisgarh. Officials blamed the banned Communist Party of India (CPI) for that attack, but haven’t yet named who they suspect is responsible for today’s attack.
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