NEW DELHI: At least 16 suspected Maoists have been killed in a firefight with security forces in central India, police said Tuesday, the same region where rebels massacred two dozens soldiers last month. More than 300 police and paramilitary troops had been tracking the rebels—also known as Naxals—in a joint operation since the weekend, said D M Awasthi, chief of the Chhattisgarh anti-Naxal force. “We can confirm at least 16 Naxals have been killed in the ongoing operation,” he told AFP, without elaborating on the circumstances in which they died. There was however no clarity on when the gun battle took place. Another police officer said the rebels were killed in two separate gun battles, and that a policeman was also killed.