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India journalist and police killed in 'Maoist attack'

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image captionA large number of security forces are deployed in Chhattisgarh to counter Maoist rebels

A cameraman from India's national broadcaster, Doordarshan, and two policemen have been killed in an alleged attack by Maoist rebels.

They were ambushed on Tuesday morning in the central state of Chhattisgarh, which is often hit by Maoist violence.

The attack comes days after rebels blew up a vehicle of India's central paramilitary force, killing four personnel.

Chhattisgarh is scheduled to hold state elections next month.

"Today our patrolling party was ambushed by Naxals," deputy inspector general P Sundar Raj told ANI news agency. He added that two other police officers were also injured in the attack.

The TV crew from Doordarshan was in the area to cover the upcoming polls, according to the broadcaster. They were travelling with security forces when their vehicles were attacked.

The mineral-rich state of Chhattisgarh has witnessed an armed conflict for more than three decades.

While the government encourages mineral extraction industries in the area, the Maoists - an armed left-wing rebel guerrilla group - opposes it.

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The rebels, who are active in several eastern and central states, also claim that they are fighting for communist rule and greater rights for tribal people and the rural poor.

They routinely target Indian security forces. In 2010 they killed 74 policemen in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh in one of the most deadly attacks.

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