India's Maoist rebels kill four abducted policemen

India's Maoist rebels kill four abducted policemen
In this photograph taken late March 2010, young Communist Party of India Maoists train to fight the government's military offensive Operation Green Hunt against them.

RAIPUR, India - India's Maoist rebels have killed four policemen they abducted from a bus in the restive central state of Chhattisgarh, a senior officer said Wednesday.

The guerrillas stopped the bus transporting the security personnel as it was passing through the Maoist-dominated Kutru village in Bijapur district late Monday.

"We have been informed that the four abducted police personnel have been killed by the Maoists. The bodies were thrown on the roadside near a forested area," police superintendent K. L. Dhruv told AFP.

"Police parties have been sent out to the jungles to hunt for the culprits." The bodies were discovered close to the area where they were abducted, raising doubts about the search operations that police said had been launched immediately after the abductions.

The rebels, who claim to be fighting for the rights of poor tribal minorities and farmers, have waged a decades-long battle across central and eastern Indian states to overthrow government authorities.

The government describes the Maoist insurgency as the country's most serious internal security threat.

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