Maoist insurgents detonated an explosive device Wednesday in a forested area in central India, killing 10 police officers and the driver of their vehicle, a state government minister said.
T.S. Singh Deo, health minister of Chhattisgarh state, said the insurgents targeted policemen who were setting up camps in Bastar district as part of a campaign to clear the area of rebels.
The bomb hit one of the vehicles in a police convoy, the Press Trust of India news agency cited police as saying.
The vehicles in the convoy were traveling about 500 feet apart, and the insurgents used a homemade bomb packed with about 90 pounds of explosives, PTI said.
In 2021, insurgents killed 20 police and paramilitary troops in gunbattles in the forests of Chhattisgarh state.
Maoist rebels, who claim inspiration from Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting India’s government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers and poor people.
Rebels are active in several parts of India. They often attack government troops and officials and have been called India’s greatest internal security threat.