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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 13:33 UK

Deadly ambush hits Indian police

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At least 23 policemen have been killed in an attack by suspected Maoist rebels in eastern India, police say.

It happened in Chhattisgarh state, 90km (56 miles) west of Raipur.

Two officers were killed initially, and a larger force sent to the scene was then attacked, police say. The district police chief is among the dead.

The rebels are fighting for communist rule in a number of Indian states. More than 6,000 people have died during the 20-year insurgency.

Speaking from Raipur, the deputy inspector general of police, Pawan Dev, said a total of 23 bodies had been recovered after the attacks in Rajnandgaon district.

The senior officer who died was named by state government officials as VK Choubey, French news agency AFP reported.



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