Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maoist rebels hijack train with 700 passengers


New terrorist attack in Jharkhand State on the eve of elections. Police rescue passengers. On the same day other rebel groups hijack and burn nine trucks in Gaya district (Bihar).

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A group of 200 Maoist guerrillas attacked and hijacked a passenger train carrying 700 people in Latehar, Jharkhand State.

The train was going from Barkakana in Jharkhand to Mugalsarai in Uttar Pradesh when it was attacked by the naxal rebels between 7 and 7.30am near Hehegarha railway station in Jharkhand's Latehar district. The Railway Protection Force and 4 army helicopters immediately intervened and succeeded in freeing the hostages who were packed into the train’s 9 carriages.

Also today a group of Maoist rebels hijacked and burned nine trucks in Barachatti, Gaya district in Bihar state, killing one of the drivers who attempted to flee with his load.

Both episodes are attributed to Maoist rebels who are operative in the so-called “red corridor” that crosses Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states. The guerrillas want a boycott of the elections and these attacks come on the eve of the second round of voting in a 5 ballot election to renew the lower house of the Indian national parliament, the Lok Sabha.

Already on April 15th, the day before the beginning of the elections, Maoist rebels killed 18 people, police and electoral officials, in a series of attacks spread throughout localities where elections were due to be held.

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