Raipur, India, April 26 (AFP/APP): Ten policemen and their driver were killed in India’s central Chhattisgarh state Wednesday when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, an attack police blamed on Maoist rebels.
India’s long-running Maoist insurgency began in the 1960s and has cost thousands of lives in the decades since, although violence has waned considerably in recent years.
Wednesday’s deaths were the worst casualties for security forces in more than two years and claimed the lives of police reservists returning from a mission to investigate rebel movements in the remote Dantewada district.
“They were returning from an operation when the explosion took place targeting their vehicle,” senior Chhattisgarh police official Vivekanand told AFP.
Footage aired on broadcaster NDTV showed a crater that stretched several feet into the earth, and security forces inspecting mangled vehicle parts strewn about by the blast.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel told reporters the attack was “very saddening” and pledged to redouble efforts to combat the state’s naxalites, as India’s Maoist insurgents are known.
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