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West Bengal Troops Report Progress in Offensive against Maoist Insurgents


Security forces say they have consolidated their hold on several villages in West Bengal, which Maoist rebels claimed they had taken from government control. Officials say they have met with little resistance from the rebels.

The security operation to reestablish government control in Lalgarh district began nearly two weeks ago, after a spate of attacks in which suspected rebels gunned down political rivals and torched government facilities.

Thousands of paramilitaries, along with police and an elite anti-insurgent squad have been advancing slowly because of fears that the rebels would use villagers as human shields to block the progress of government forces. The government says it wants to avoid civilian casualties.

Siddhinath Gupta, who heads the security operation, said Monday troops have been helped, not hindered, by the local population.


Paramashish Roy has the details in his report from Kolkata.


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