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16 Maoists killed in Maharashtra

Gadchiroli (Maharashtra), April 22: In the biggest crackdown in four decades in Maharashtra, security forces on Sunday gunned down at least 16 Maoists including some women in Gadchiroli district, an official said.
Among those killed were at least a couple of high-ranking unit commanders.
A fierce gunfight took place in a thickly forested area between the Maoists and security forces in which the rebels suffered huge reverses, according to the official.
The official said the gunfight took place in the Boria jungles on the border of Bhamragad-Etapalli taluka.
At around 7 a.m., a C-60 squad of police commandos was launching an anti-Maoist combing operations when they were suddenly attacked by the Maoists hidden there.
The police retaliated with firing and the bloody gunbattle continued for over five hours till 11 a.m.
“So far, we have recovered 16 bodies of Maoists including some women. The search operation is continuing in the forests to recover more bodies if any. The process is on to identify them,” the official told IANS.
Officials believe that an entire active Dalam (unit) may have been wiped out in the gunfight along with its high-ranking commanders and other most-wanted Maoists.
Sunday’s is the single biggest police action against Maoists in the past 38 years since the birth of the Naxalite movement in the district.
As it continued to spread in the region, adjoining districts like Chandrapur and spilled over to neighbouring states in central India, the police deployed specialist trained forces to tackle the growing menace.
In 2013, police eliminated six Maoists in Govindgaon in Aheri taluka. In December 2017, police killed seven Maoists in the forest of Kallade in Sironcha taluka.