NAXALITE rebels have staged a successful ambush of Indian state forces near Rapur.
Reports AFP: "Maoist guerrillas killed five policemen in a gunfight in India's central state of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, a senior police officer told AFP.
"Three of the men belonged to the elite Border Security Force paramilitary group and two were regular police officers, Chhattisgarh's anti-Maoist operations chief Ramniwas, who only uses one name, told AFP.
"The clash took place in Kanker district, 175 kilometres (110 miles) south of the state capital Raipur.
"Kanker is the headquarters of a police jungle warfare school which trains security personnel in the government's increasing efforts to tackle the Maoist insurgency.
"Chattisgarh is a stronghold of the rebels, who killed 15 police officers in an attack in the state two months ago.
"Authorities in New Delhi launched an offensive last year to tackle the worsening insurgency, but since then the Maoists have hit back with a series of bloody strikes.
"Maoist rebel groups have fought for decades in east India against state and central government rule, drawing support from tribal groups and landless farmers left behind by the country's economic expansion."