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Maoist rebels kill 7 India Congress party workers-state president

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 20 Jul 2011 14:32 GMT
Author: Reuters
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RAIPUR, India, July 20 (Reuters) - Maoist rebels killed seven Congress party workers in a jungle ambush on a party convoy in India's central state of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday, the state's party president told Reuters.

The attack is the latest in a decades-old insurgency waged by the Maoists against the Indian state, which claims hundreds of lives each year. Chhattisgarh is one of several states riddled with insurgents that regularly attack police, government buildings and civilians accused of being informers.

Police told Reuters they were still investigating Wednesday's ambush and did not have an exact figure for the number of casualties. Local TV channels showed a vehicle badly damaged after a blast.

"Seven Congress workers were killed and four were injured in the attack," Congress state president Nandkumar Patel told Reuters by phone. He estimated there were about 25 vehicles in a convoy which was ambushed, adding that vehicles behind his own were blown up.

The Maoists' violent campaign against the government began as a peasant revolt in the late 1960s. The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and the disenfranchised. They killed 15 police officers in two separate bomb blasts in June in the same state. (Reporting by Sujeet Kumar; editing by Matthias Williams and Sugita Katyal)

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