Indian Maoist rebels kill 5 days before national election

Indian Maoist rebels kill 5 days before national election

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Dantewada, Apr 9 (AP/UNB) — Maoist rebels on Tuesday attacked a convoy of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party with an improvised explosive device as it traveled through the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, killing a state party lawmaker and four others in his vehicle, police said.

Police officer P. Sunder Raj said the rebels detonated an improvised explosive device in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, an insurgent stronghold, just two days before a multi-phase general election begins in India.

The BJP state lawmaker Bhima Mandavi, his driver and three security personnel accompanying him were killed in the attack, Raj told reporters.

The rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers, the poor and indigenous communities. They claim thousands of fighters and control vast swaths of territory in several Indian states.

The government calls the rebels India’s biggest internal security threat.

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