1st LD: Leftwing Naxalite rebels take 200 villagers hostage in central India

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India's leftwing Naxalite rebels have taken over 200 villagers hostage in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, a senior police official said Saturday.

The villagers have been taken hostage in order to prevent them from attending Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in the state's Naxalite-infested district of Dantewada later in the day, he said on condition of anonymity.

Modi is visiting the district to inaugurate a key railway link in the region.

A rescue operation has been launched, the official added. Endi

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