At least 24 Indian police officers have died after suspected Maoist rebels stormed a security camp in eastern India, shooting at security officials and setting fire to the site.
Authorities say seven other policemen were wounded Monday when the rebels ambushed the Shilda camp in Midnapore district in West Bengal state.
Officials say nearly 100 rebels, some riding motorcycles, launched the assault.
West Bengal police chief Bhupinder Singh called it the rebel's worst attack ever in the state.
A Maoist leader known as Kishenji claimed his group was responsible, saying it was retaliation for a recent crackdown on the rebels.
India has launched a military campaign in several states targeting the Maoists.
Senior Indian officials have called the insurgency in some of India's most impoverished states the country's most serious internal security threat.
Officials say the rebels, called Naxalites, have spread across nearly one-third of the country -- mostly in central and eastern India -- since the insurgency started as a peasant uprising in 1967.
Officials say that in the past decade, more than 600 people have died annually in Maoist-linked violence. The rebels, who want to build a communist state, have been targeting security forces and infrastructure.
Gautam Gupta, VOA Correspondent from Kolkata, has more on this.