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India's Maoist rebel attack sparks anger

Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram warned against kneejerk reactions as details emerged about how India’s Maoist rebels killed 76 policemen without taking a single casualty.

Chhattisgarh state Chief Minister Raman Singh, right in white, waits to place a wreath before the bodies of victims killed in Tuesday's Maoist attack at a hospital in Dantewada, India, Wednesday. India will push ahead with an offensive against Maoist rebels despite the death of 76 government troops in an ambush by insurgents in the east, the country's top security official said Wednesday.

AP

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One day after India’s Maoist rebels killed 76 policemen in their deadliest attack in recent memory, the government sought to tamp down public anger that the guerrilla forces killed so many officers without taking a single casualty.

The Maoists, also called Naxalites, who claim to fight for India’s poor, have battled the government for four decades. They have been labeled one of the top security threats in India, with a presence in 22 of 28 states. Despite a massive offensive launched against them last year across seven states, called Operation Greenhunt, they recently rejected an offer of peace negotiations.

“Something has gone very wrong,” India’s home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram admitted, but he cautioned against any “knee jerk” reaction to the attack.

Ambush, booby traps

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