Maoists kill 18 policemen in Maharashtra

      At least 18 policemen were killed by the Maoists in an ambush in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra on Thursday afternoon. According to the police the left wing ultras attacked the police out post near Lahir village of Bhamragadh tehsil of Gadchiroli District. All the dead policemen belonged to the C-60 anti-Naxal force raised by Maharashtra, the police said. Gadchiroli is situated in the southeastern corner of Maharashtra, and bordering Chhatisgarh to the east, and Andhra Pradesh to the south and southwest. According to sources, an intense gun battle was on near Lahir as reinforcements, which were rushing to the first ambush site, also came under attack by the red ultras. Sources said that a team of commandos from the C-60 force and local police went to some villages on election related duties and were returning to Lahir when they were ambushed by nearly 200 Maoists. As the Maoists attacked, the reinforcements too, indicated that the attacks were planned well in advance. On Wednesday, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram asked the Naxalites to abjure violence and take up the path of dialogue and democracy.

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