Maoists kidnap official, kill 2 policemen in India

News reports say that Maoist rebels in eastern India have kidnapped a government official and killed two policemen.

Press Trust of India reported that the rebels kidnapped district official Alex Paul Menon from a village in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state on Saturday. Two policemen guarding Menon were shot and killed by the rebels.

In recent weeks, the insurgents have kidnapped two Italian men and a state lawmaker in Orissa state demanding the release of dozens of their imprisoned comrades. The Italians were freed after some prisoners were released, but the lawmaker is presumed to still be a hostage.

The rebels say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong and are demanding land and jobs for impoverished tribal communities.