The Naxalites, an armed Maoist group battling the Indian government for decades, carried out their deadliest attack yet on Tuesday.

Authorities say hundreds of fighters ambushed a bus carrying Indian police officers, killing at least 70 paramilitary personnel in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

In October, Al Jazeera interviewed "Kishan-ji", commander of the group's armed wing, who said such attacks were "directly related to the power of the state".

"Eighty-five to 90 per cent of India's population lives under a dictatorship, it is not really a democracy," he said.

"The state is running a terror campaign against the people, and we fight against anyone who is perpetrating terror against the common population, be it any political party or the armed forces."

Referring to the Chhattisgarh raid, Rubina Khan Shapoo, a senior correspondent for the private NDTV television station, said: "This is the deadliest attack so far and the biggest setback for Indian security forces.

"After today's incident, the government is going to take on a different strategy. And now the crackdown will be more severe - an all-out offensive."

Source: Al Jazeera