Indian police say two policemen, a civilian, and six Maoist rebels were
killed in separate incidents in central Chhattisgarh state Sunday.
A senior police officer (Pawan Deo) says a group of
suspected Maoist rebels ambushed a joint patrol of the Central Reserve
Police Force, or CRPF, and local police in Bijapur district, killing
two policemen and a civilian.
Also Sunday, six Maoists were killed in two separate encounters with the CRPF in the restive Bastar region.
Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and
landless, and are active in at least 13 of India's 29 states. Their
decades-long insurgency has left thousands dead.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called the Maoists the gravest threat to India's internal security.
The rebels have been stepping up violent attacks ahead of general elections that get under way later this week.
On Saturday, five policeman were killed and three others wounded in a gunbattle with Maoist rebels in eastern Jharkhand state.
Ten police officers and three Maoists were killed Friday in Chhattisgarh.