Rebels trigger blasts, clash with forces ahead of India state polls
November 11 2018 02:35 PM
The special anti-Naxal police force deployed in Chhattisgarh
The special anti-Naxal police force deployed in Chhattisgarh

Dpa/New Delhi

Maoist rebels triggered several explosions and clashed with security forces in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, ahead of polls in the region, police said.

The insurgents triggered seven blasts targeting a paramilitary team on patrol in the Kanker district, killing one trooper, police officer KL Dhruw told reporters.

In another incident earlier on Sunday, a Maoist was killed and another was arrested following a gunbattle with security forces in the Bijapur district, police said.

The violence comes ahead of two-phase legislative elections in Chhattisgarh state that begin on Monday.

The left-wing rebels have called for a boycott of the elections and have carried out three attacks in the last fortnight.

The Maoist guerrillas, who reject parliamentary democracy, say their armed rebellion is to secure rights for the poor and marginalized. They operate in forest belts in several states across India.

Authorities have deployed 100,000 security personnel and are using drones to track rebels in elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polling in the state, media reports said.

Chhattisgarh is one of the states worst affected by the Maoist insurgency, which has left more than 7,660 civilians, militants and security personnel dead since 2005, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

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