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Suspected Leftist Guerrillas in Eastern India Kill 26 Policemen - 2004-04-08

Authorities in eastern India say at least 26 policemen have been killed in a landmine attack believed to have been carried out by leftist rebels.

Officials say the attack took place in eastern Jharkhand state. They say the mine detonated on a rural road as two police vehicles passed by late Wednesday.

Officials say both vehicles were destroyed and several policemen were wounded in the attack near the town of Chaibasa, about 150-kilometers south the state capital, Ranchi.

Police are blaming the attack on the People's War Group -- an outlawed organization that has been targeting rich landowners and police officials across several states in central and eastern India since the early 1980's.

The group claims to be fighting on behalf of landless farmers and poor laborers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.