India: Delhi threatens air-strikes after coordinated Naxalite attacks

New Delhi has rushed a high-level team of senior Home Ministry officials to eastern Orissa state after some 600 Naxalite guerillas carried out simultaneous raids on several police stations in Nayagarh district late Feb. 15, killing 15 and looting large quantities of arms and ammunition. The dead included a village paramilitary guard, a civilian and 13 police. Ten more were injured. Orissa police are now combing the Kupari forests, where the guerillas fled. Andhra Pradesh police and paramilitary forces have also joined the hunt. The security forces are backed up by helicopter gunships, with Delhi saying air strikes are being considered if Naxalite strongholds can be located. (The Hindu, The Statesman, Feb. 16)

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