Indian Maoists target politicians: 3 killed
Maoists rebels targeted a federal MP and a state minister from India's ruling Congress party in a bomb attack that left three people dead, police said yesterday.
The attack occurred southeast of Hyderabad, the capital of southern Andhra Pradesh state, as MP Janardhana Reddy and his wife, a state minister for women development and child welfare, were on their way to a university event.
An apparently remote-controlled bomb hit their convoy as it passed over a bridge, killing two party activists and a driver. The couple were unhurt.
"When the convoy was passing over a culvert, the Maoists targeted one of the cars, thinking they were in that vehicle," Nellore district police chief K Lakshmi Reddy told AFP.
"(Minister) Reddy and his wife were unhurt as they were travelling in a bullet proof car," he said.
"Certainly, there is the hand of the Maoists behind this attack," the police official said, explaining that the MP -- a former chief minister of the state -- was on a Maoist hit list after outlawing them in 1992.
Officials say India's Maoist insurgency threatens huge swathes of India's centre, east and south.
Originally a peasant uprising which erupted in 1967 in the eastern state of West Bengal, the rebellion has spread to half of India's 29 states -- prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to describe them as the single biggest threat to India's internal security.
The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of neglected tribes and landless farmers.