Gunbattle in India kills 24 police, 25 rebels

Maoist rebels using mortars and machine guns battled police in eastern India in an hours-long fight that left 24 policemen and 25 rebels dead, a police official said Wednesday. The rebels ambushed more than 100 policemen and the gunbattle lasted more than five hours in Dantewada district of Chattisgarh state late Monday, said Rajendra Kumar Vij, inspector general of state police. He said at least 25 communist rebels also were killed in the gunbattle, but their bodies were yet to be recovered.