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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

49 Indian Police Killed In Ambush

NEW DELHI -- Communist rebels armed with rifles, hand grenades and gasoline bombs attacked a police post in the jungles of eastern India on Thursday, killing at least 49 officers, police said.

The pre-dawn attack Thursday was the latest in a series of increasingly bold assaults by the rebels, who have been fighting for more than two decades in central and eastern India's long-impoverished hinterlands.

The insurgents appeared to have caught by surprise the 79 officers guarding the remote post in the state of Chattisgarh, nearly 1,500 kilometers southeast of New Delhi, police officer N. K. Swarnkar said by telephone.

Another 12 officers were wounded in the attack, he said.

Before fleeing with weapons stolen from the police post, the attackers scattered land mines around the area, making it difficult for security forces to pursue them, Swarnkar said. By noon, police reinforcements had reached the post and were fanning out into the jungle to search for the attackers.

In March 2006, insurgents detonated land mines under four trucks carrying villagers in Chattisgarh, killing 25 people. Days later, they seized a passenger train for 12 hours in the neighboring state of Jharkhand.

n Farmers angry over plans to build an industrial park on their land torched a government office Thursday in a second day of unrest in eastern India, authorities and witnesses said, as the death toll from the violence rose to 14.

Police responded with batons and tear gas, dispersing protesters in Nandigram who quickly regrouped elsewhere.

On Thursday, about 2,000 farmers gathered near a hospital where those injured one day earlier were being treated.