BHUBANESHWAR, India — Nine Maoist rebels were killed in a fierce gunbattle Sunday in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, a senior police official said.
The clash erupted when police were searching a densely forested area in Orissa's Rayaguda district after receiving a tip that rebels were hiding there, said Somendra Priyadarshi, deputy inspector general of police.
Police are searching for rebels who fled after the gunbattle, Priyadarshi said.
The rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the government in eastern India for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for the poor. Their presence has expanded as they have tapped into anger among the rural poor left out of India's economic gains.