A total of 19 militants died, including two women, in two days of clashes in Chhattisgarh
Indian police shot dead 26 Maoist militants in the state of Chhattisgarh and said on Saturday they had captured at least two commanders.
The head of India’s elite BSF special forces, VK Singh, said on Twitter that 26 Maoists had been killed and four died in ambushes on Thursday and Friday.
Three women also died in a remote jungle outpost of the Communist party of India (Maoist) in Chhattisgarh, authorities said.
Maoist militias have grown and spread across Maoist-controlled forested areas of central and eastern India in recent years in a bid to overthrow Indian governments and impose their radical ideology.
The violence has killed about 100,000 people and disrupted economic and social development in a vast stretch of the country. About half of those killed have been civilians.
Maoist insurgents have infiltrated villages and planted bombs and improvised explosive devices on roads, railways and other infrastructure, killing many innocent people who the rebels view as collaborating with the government.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has promised more rewards and support for anti-Maoist army units after rebels killed more than 30 soldiers last month in the worst such attack in four years.
“Some of them who are still alive after those attacks are our most valuable assets. We have to work together for ensuring their safety and security,” a spokesman for India’s ministry of external affairs said.
Maoist militants have also attacked security forces in the neighbouring country of Nepal, where a nine-year-old boy was killed and nearly 100 people injured in gunbattles with government troops on Friday.