Maoist attack in India leaves 5 police officers dead, at least 18 missing: reports

Maoist attack in India leaves 5 police officers dead, at least 18 missing: reports

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An attack by Maoist insurgents in central India on Saturday resulted in the deaths of five police officers, with 18 others reported missing, according to reports.

The body of a female rebel was also found, senior police officer D.M. Awasthi told The Associated Press.

State-run All India Radio initially reported 20 missing officers, the AP reported.

“The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten,” Prime Minister Narenda Modi wrote on Twitter after the attack. “May the injured recover at the earliest.”

The attack targeted security personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force’s elite CoBRA unit, the District Reserve Guard and the Special Task Force, officials said Sunday, according to Reuters.

It happened in the state of Chhattisgarh during an anti-insurgency operation, Om Prakash Pal, a senior police official, told the news outlet.

The deaths occurred during a four-hour gunbattle in Sukma, a border district 340 miles from Raipur, the state capital, Reuters reported. A search was underway for the missing officers, Pal told the outlet.

The attack continued insurgent fighting that has gone on for decades between the Maosist, also known as Naxals, and the government. 

A previous attack last month against a bus carrying 20 security officers also left five officers dead, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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