Indian police kill nine suspected Maoists

Indian security forces on Sunday shot dead nine suspected Maoist guerrillas and seized explosives from a forest camp in the eastern state of Orissa, police said.

The left-wing fighters were gunned down in a dawn encounter in Rayagada district, a rebel hotbed 500 kilometres (310 miles) south of Bhubaneswar city.

"We have killed nine Maoists, destroyed their camp and seized explosive materials," S. Priyadarshi, a senior state police officer, told AFP.

The Maoists were running a training camp in the area, he said, adding that the rebels have established camps in 19 of Orissa's 30 districts.

Violence by Maoist rebels in India rose in 2010, leaving a record 1,169 people dead, the latest federal government figures show.

The Maoist movement, which began in 1967, feeds off land disputes, police brutality and corruption, and is strongest in the poorest and most deprived areas of India, many of which are rich in natural resources.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged state administrations to speed up pro-poor welfare measures in rebel-hit regions.

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