Press TV 
Friday, Oct 2nd, 2009
Amid increasing Maoist insurgency across several Indian states, rebels have killed at least 16 villagers in a pre-dawn attack in east of the country.
The latest deadly incident happened on Friday morning in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.
“The victims were sleeping in their houses Thursday night. More than 50 armed Maoists attacked the village and started killing people,” a regional police officer told the AFP news agency.
Sources said five children were among the more than a dozen killed in the attack in Khagaria district, 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the state capital Patna.
The attacks come after villagers denied vacating their homes and handing over their land to the rebels.
Last month, Premier Minister Manmohan Singh rebuked police chiefs for failing to stem the Maoist insurgency from the troubled region.
Singh has called the Maoist led violence the single biggest threat to India’s security.
The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of landless farmers and neglected tribesmen in the impoverished eastern and central states.
The rebels have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states.
The Maoist insurgency has spread to twenty states and claimed at least 600 lives since the beginning of 2009.
The rebels have killed thousands of people — including police, militants and civilians – over the past years.