Authorities in India say at least 17 policemen were killed Saturday when Maoist rebels blew up their bus in northern India.

Police officials say rebels detonated a landmine as the police bus approached a bridge in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Maoist rebels, who claim to be fighting for the rights of landless peasants, operate in southern and eastern India. They often attack the police through ambushes and landmines. They are also active in Nepal, which borders both Uttar Pradesh and neighboring Bihar state.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.