Page last updated at 07:15 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 08:15 UK

Ambush kills 29 Indian policemen

Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh
Maoists have a presence in 182 districts of India

The number of policemen killed in an attack by suspected Maoist rebels in India's Chhattisgarh state has risen to 29, police say.

The attack took place in Rajnandgaon, 90km (56 miles) from capital Raipur.

Two officers were killed initially, and a larger force sent to the scene was then attacked, according to police reports

The district police chief was also killed in what is said to be one of the worst attacks by rebels in the state.

Maoist rebels are fighting for communist rule in a number of states. The conflict has killed more than 6,000 people in 20 years.

Convoy ambushed

The first attack took place in Madanwada early Sunday morning in which two policemen were killed.

Superintendent of police for Rajnandgaon, Vinod Kumar Choubey, was killed when he was leading police reinforcements to the area, the deputy inspector general of police, Pawan Dev, said.

His convoy was ambushed between Khoregaon and Karkoti villages.

Between 200 and 300 rebels attacked the police convoy.

The two sides fought a fierce gun battle in which Mr Choubey and several other policemen were killed, Mr Dev said.

A total of 29 bodies had been recovered and search operations were continuing in the area, he said.

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