PATNA, India (Reuters) - Indian police killed eight Maoist rebels in a gunbattle in Jharkhand, a police officer said on Tuesday.
A police patrol surrounded the rebels in a dense forest but the rebels immediately fired back, Saket Kumar Singh, the police officer said.
"The police retaliated by returning fire, leaving eight of them dead on the spot," Singh said by telephone from Garwha district of the state.
Most of the rebels fled into the forest and security forces were chasing them, he added, following the midnight clash.
Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless villagers.
They operate in a large swathe of India stretching from the east to some southern states, mostly in the countryside, and attack government officials and property.