Seven Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh gun battle (Lead)

December 11th, 2009 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Dec 11 (IANS) Seven armed Maoists were killed in a fierce 10-hour long gun battle with the Special Task Force (STF) Friday in a forested stretch of Chhattisgarh’s troubled Bastar region, police said.
“It was one of the heaviest gun battles we fought. Dozens of insurgents managed to melt into a thick forest to avoid police firing but we killed seven of them,” District Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra told IANS.

The site of the gun battle - Aranpur and Jagargunda forest area - is in Dantewada district, some 450 km south of here.

Police recovered a .303 bolt rifle, two muzzle-loading guns, a grenade, several kilograms of explosives and Maoist literature from the site.

Bastar region, spread out over a 40,000 sq km area, is comprised of five districts including Dantewada and is considered the nerve centre of the Maoists since late 1980s.

Police officials say about 1,500 people have been killed in the region in insurgency-related violence in Chhattisgarh since 2004.

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