India Naxal assault: At the least 22 safety personnel in Chhattisgarh killed in conflict with Maoist insurgents

Security forces in the central state of Chhattisgarh were conducting an operation against the left-wing insurgent group, in the state’s Bastar Division, when one of the teams came under attack from the insurgents, chief of Chhattisgarh police DM Awasthi said on Sunday.

Search operations for a missing security member are still underway in the area, Awasthi added.

The government has been embroiled in a decades-long conflict with Maoist rebel groups, also known as Naxals, who launch attacks on government forces in an attempt to overthrow the state and usher in a classless society. Maoists are largely active in central India, in regions mainly populated by tribal peoples.

Militant attacks in several states, including Maharashtra, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, where the rebel movement still has traction, are common.

16 dead in suspected Maoist attack on police convoy in India

Bastar Division, where Sunday’s battle took place, includes the Sukma-Bijapur border areas — an area thought to be among a number of key Maoist strongholds.

India’s Prime Minister…