Maoists kill 17 Indian policemen

NEW DELHI: Seventeen Indian policemen were killed in a Maoist rebel attack on Thursday in the western state of Maharashtra, the Press Trust of India and other domestic media reported.

The attack was the latest in a series of bloody assaults by the Maoists who ambushed the policemen at Laheri police station in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, the news agency reported.

Television news stations reported that 150 to 200 Maoists surrounded the police station and there was heavy firing for three hours.

The attack came after India's Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday warned the Maoists to abandon violence or face a major assault by security forces after the guerrillas beheaded a police officer earlier in the week.