Indian rebels blow up bus, killing 3 civilians, 1 soldier

PATNA, India (AP) — Indian police say Maoist rebels have blown up a bus, killing three civilians and a paramilitary soldier, in a central state where legislative elections are to be held next week.

Senior police officer D.M. Awasthi says the attack occurred Thursday in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh state.

The New Delhi Television channel said an explosive device tore through the bus, which was carrying civilians and paramilitary soldiers.

It was the third Maoist attack in the state in less than two weeks. The rebels have warned people against voting in the elections.

The Maoist rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the Indian government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers, the poor and indigenous communities.