Maoist rebels kill four police in southeast India

Koraput: A landmine blast killed four policemen in southeastern India on Wednesday, a senior officer said, with Maoists suspected of being behind the latest attack in the restive region.

A vehicle carrying 13 police officers hit the landmine as it travelled through Koraput district near the border between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states.

Local police chief S Shyni told AFP that a “security operation is under way” but did not provide further details.

Images showed the charred frame of a vehicle overturned under a tree as locals looked on at the rescue efforts.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter to condemn the attack.

“Strongly condemn the cowardly act & condole martyrdom of police personnel in landmines blast. My deep sympathies with bereaved families,” Patnaik said.

Thousands of armed Maoists — inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong — are fighting the government for land, jobs and other rights for poor tribal groups, with thousands of lives lost in the decades-old insurgency.

The latest attack comes after suspected Maoist rebels killed three women, including a 14-year-old girl, in an explosion in central Chhatisgarh state earlier this month.