Raipur/New Delhi: At least 35 special police officers (SPOs) and civilians were killed when Maoist rebels detonated a landmine targeting a bus in which they were travelling in a forested stretch in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, the same region where they slaughtered 76 security personnel over a month ago.
The second deadliest attack in the state's Bastar region where Leftist rebels virtually run a parallel government was widely condemned, with Home Minister P. Chidambaram calling for a need to revisit India's counter-insurgency policy -- to make it more proactive.
The impact of the blast was so strong that the bus was tossed about 20 feet in the air and toppled, killing most of its around 55 occupants. The Maoists detonated the lethal improvised explosive device when the bus was on a highway linking Dantewada and Sukma town, about 450 km south of state capital Raipur.
Image: Deads bodies lie at the side of the road with the wreckage of the bus in the background in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.