NEW DELHI, March 11 (Xinhua) -- At least 20 security men were killed and many others injured in an ambush by extreme leftwing rebels in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh Tuesday, said local media.
Some 300 Naxalite rebels attacked a joint team of 50 paramilitary security force and police personnel in Jhiram Ghati and the firing lasted for over three hours, said local TV NDTV.
"It was a deadly ambush," Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Gupta told the media.
He said the ambush site in Sukma district, about 500 km south of the state capital Raipur, appeared to be the same place where the rebels massacred 27 people, including senior Congress leaders, in May last year.
The guerrillas also exploded bombs, causing more damage to the security patrol that was passing through the area to a construction site.
The number of dead may go up as some policemen and security men were seriously injured or missing, said Indo-Asian News Service.
The authorities have rushed reinforcements and choppers to the area but the fighting was said to have ended, with the rebels retreating to the woods with weapons captured from government forces.
The Naxalite rebels are active in poor rural areas of at least 10 Indian states engaging government forces and police and attacking officials.