Police say Maoist rebels have killed 11 Indian paramilitary soldiers and injured seven others in an attack in central India.

Police officer Jitendra Shukla said the Maoists fired from hilltops on Monday at a group of paramilitary soldiers who were guarding workers building roads in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state.

Shukla said the injured were taken by helicopter to a hospital.

The insurgents, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in central and eastern India, staging hit-and-run attacks to press their demand for a greater share of wealth and more jobs for the poor.

Last month, the rebels also killed 11 paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in the region.