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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008, 09:48 GMT
Indian Maoists kill 14 in Orissa
Maoist rebels in India have attacked police stations in the eastern state of Orissa, killing 13 officers.

A civilian also died in the attacks in Nayagarh district. The rebels escaped with arms and ammunition.

The attacks, which occurred 90km (56 miles) from the state capital, Bhubaneswar, are seen as a sign the rebels are extending their operations.

Until now, they had confined their operations in Orissa to less developed parts of the state.

Officials said several hundred rebels, including women fighters, were involved.

Reports say between two and four police stations were attacked. One was set on fire.

Gun battles

The head of the state's police, Gopal Chandra Nanda, said a training academy and armoury were also targeted. At least 11 policemen were injured.

There were also reports of gun battles as the security forces tried to repel the attacks.
Burnt-out vehicles in Orissa (16/02/08)
Hundreds of rebels were reportedly involved in the attacks
Officials are still trying to determine how many weapons were stolen.

Hundreds of police and paramilitary forces are combing the surrounding countryside in search of those involved. There was no word of casualties among the rebels.

The Maoists are active in many states across east and central India. They focus on areas where people are poor but there is great mineral wealth.

The rebels say they represent the rights of landless farmhands and tribal communities. Hundreds of people have died over the past few years in Maoist-related violence.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, recently described the rebels as the biggest threat to the country's security and called for a dedicated security force to combat them.

Aftermath of the Maoist attack

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