Eight policemen have been shot dead in India after being ambushed as they went to arrest a murder suspect, authorities said Friday.
At least seven other people were injured in the nighttime incident in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
State police chief HC Awasthi told reporters that the suspect "had the support of the entire village as there was firing from several rooftops".
Prashant Kumar, another senior policeman, said the attackers, who had obstructed the entrance to the village with an excavator, appeared to have been armed with semi-automatic weapons.
"It was a planned attack," Kumar told reporters.
Media reports said the suspect had a long criminal history including the alleged murder of a politician and state minister in 2001 and was wanted over another 60 crimes.
His gang, thought to number seven or eight, fled the village after the ambush and a major operation was under way on Friday to track them down, police said.