Indiran police killed clearing mines

A land mine has blown up a police van in eastern India, killing at least 12 police officers, officials said today.

A land mine has blown up a police van in eastern India, killing at least 12 police officers, officials said today.

Supt Navin Kumar Singh said the officers were on a mine clearing operation in Burudih, about 100 miles south of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state.

Mr Singh said communist rebels had planted land mines in the region to avoid being attacked by security forces.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural labourers and the poor.

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