(CNN) -- Suspected Maoist insurgents killed nine policemen during an ambush in eastern India, authorities said Tuesday. A 10th officer is missing.
The attack took place Monday in a remote area of Gariaband in Chhattisgarh state when the officers were on their way to search a house as part of anti-Maoist operation, said state police spokesman Rajesh Mishra.
Their truck broke down, and they were attacked as they were waiting for a second vehicle to arrive, he said.
About 10 days ago, seven officers were killed when they were ambushed as they were returning from routine patrol, Mishra said.
"It's a war-like situation here," he said.
The Maoist movement is considered by the government as India's greatest internal security threat.
The Maoist guerrillas are called Naxalites after Naxalbari, a village in neighboring West Bengal state where they originated in the late 1960s.
Officials say the Naxals aim to seize political power through what they call a protracted people's war.
For their part, the insurgents have claimed since the 1960s to be fighting for the dispossessed.
Over the years, they targeted Indian security forces in several impoverished eastern Indian states that have become known as the "Red Corridor."
The slow-churning unrest has killed about 2,000 people.