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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Indian police 'kill nine rebels'
Nine Maoist rebels have been killed in a clash with police in India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh, officials say.

Security forces surrounded the Maoists as they were meeting in a forest in the Rayala Seema region, a senior police official said.

He said the dead Maoists included six women and that about 20 rebels escaped during the three-hour gun battle.

Police officials say around 450 people have died in Maoist-related violence in the last 17 months.

Peace talks collapsed in 2005.

The BBC's Omer Farooq in the state capital Hyderabad says rebels have infiltrated Rayala Seema in the last five years, especially the Nallamalla forest which is believed to be the biggest rebel hideout in the state.

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