Raipur, India (BBN)- At least 30 policemen including a senior police official were killed on Sunday in two separate attacks by Maoists in the country’s eastern Chhattisgarh state, officials said.

Superintendent of Police of Rajnandgaon Vinod Kumar (VK) Choubey was killed when he was leading police reinforcements for Madanwada, where the Maoists killed two policemen on Sunday morning, after being ambushed between Khoregaon and Karkoti village under Rajnandgaon district, a senior police official confirmed.

In all, 26 policemen were killed in the attack including superintendent of police VK Choubey, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Naxal) Pawan Dev reportedly said.

Mr. Dev also said Maoists shot dead another patrol team of four policemen in the second ambush.

The central government of India has already deployed 600 paramilitary personnel to Chhattisgarh to start combing operations against the banned Maoists militants.  

The Maoists are active in at least 13 states out 29 in the South Asian country. At least 455 people had been killed in Maoist-triggered violence since January this year with Chhattisgarh alone accounting for 148 deaths, according to the government statistics.

In 2006, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the Maoists, generally known ‘Naxalites,’ as a “virus” and ranked them along with Islamic militants as a serious threat to the country’s internal security.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-13July09-12:57 pm (BST)