Indian security forces killed at least 10 Maoist rebels in a gun battle in the forests of central India on Tuesday, police said, the second major encounter this month amid national elections.

Fighting in the Abujhmad area of the Maoist-riven Bastar region followed an April 16 clash in which 29 rebel fighters were killed in a nearby district.

The rebels, who follow a form of communism propagated by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, have waged a guerrilla-style struggle against the government mainly in central and eastern India for decades, leading to periodic clashes and casualties on both sides.

Maoists say they are fighting to give poor Indian farmers and landless labourers more control over their land and a greater claim to minerals that they say are exploited by major mining companies.

Police in Chattisgarh state said they had recovered at least 10 bodies and several weapons after the early Tuesday clash.

Indian are voting in a seven-phase parliamentary election that began on April 19, with votes due to be counted on June 4.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Nick Macfie)