Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

A Sprawling Insurgency in India

Fueled by rampant poverty in rural areas, a 10,000-strong Maoist army threatens to take the shine off of India's economic boom. The rebels are known as Naxalites after the eastern town of Naxalbari, where the violent peasant uprising began in 1967. Their attacks in impoverished but mineral-rich regions — on everything from mines and factories to trains and jails — led to at least 625 deaths in the first nine months of 2006, according to the Asian Centre for Human Rights. In August, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ranked the growing Maoist rebellion alongside terrorism as the greatest threats facing the country's stability.