NEW DELHI (AP) — Police say Maoist rebels have killed 18 paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in central India.

Mukesh Gupta said rebels ambushed a paramilitary camp on Tuesday in a remote and dense forest in Chattisgarh state.

The police said the rebels surrounded the camp and opened fire, killing 18 instantly. Several others were injured in the attack in the Jiram Ghati area in southern Chattisgarh.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.

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