The Centre on Friday said the Maharashtra police were ready to lead the battle against the Naxals, a day after seventeen policemen were killed by the ultras in an ambush in Gadchiroli district.

“Police will try to round up the Naxals on the basis of whatever trails they have and see if they can reach the Naxals. They will take on them,” Union Special Secretary (Internal Security) U K Bansal told reporters here.

Mr. Bansal said the paramilitary forces had been rushed and the mopping up operation was going on.

Seventeen policemen were on Thursday killed in an ambush by over 150 Naxals at Laheri in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

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