Two suspected north African Al-Qaeda militants have been arrested in possession of an explosives belt in southern Tunisia. Photo: AP

At least five Maoist militants were killed in combat by government forces in India's eastern state of Orissa on Sunday, a news report said.

Police teams raided a rebel hideout in a forested area of the Jajpur district some 100 kilometres north-east of state capital Bhubaneshwar Saturday night, the IANS news agency reported.

Senior police official Sanjeev Marik said five rebels including three women were killed, the report said.

A cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the hideout.

More than one-third of India's 626 administrative districts are affected by the insurgency, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as the main internal security threat.

The rebels claim they are fighting for the rights of tribal, landless and poor people in some of the country's poorest regions.

At least 1,174 rebels, troops and civilians were killed in incidents related to the insurgency in 2010, making it one of the deadliest years in the four-decade old rebellion in India. -

Sapa-dpa