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December 29, 1987

The Indian government dispatched about 400 commandos to southeastern Andhra Pradesh state to help rescue seven government officials kidnaped in an ambush by Maoist extremists, a Home Ministry spokesman said. Nine officials were abducted as they returned from a meeting; two of them, both women, were later released. The extremists, who are known as Naxalites, said they will hold the hostages until eight of their jailed comrades are released, the spokesman said. The group takes its name from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, where it launched a bloody insurgency in the 1960s.

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