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Police: 2 bomb explosions kill 10 in eastern India

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PATNA, India » A bomb planted under a bridge killed eight civilians Sunday a day after police found the crude device but left it under sandbags until it could be defused. Another bomb blamed on suspected rebels killed the eastern Indian state’s top disposal expert and a soldier as they were trying to dismantle it.

The bomb planted under the bridge by suspected Maoist rebels had been found Saturday but could not be defused immediately, said Neelmani, a top police officer who uses only name.

The area was cordoned and the bomb placed under sandbags. But on Sunday, teenage boys and men pulled the bomb out from under the sandbags and "fiddled" with it, Neelmani said. All five teenagers and three men were killed, and two injured men were hospitalized.

It happened in Pachokhar village in Aurangabad district of Bihar state. Neelmani also blamed suspected rebels for a bomb the exploded in the adjoining Gaya district Saturday, killing Bihar’s leading explosive disposal expert and a paramilitary soldier as they tried to defuse the bomb.

Aurangabad and Gaya districts held state legislative elections Saturday. More than 50 percent of voters turned out, defying a boycott called by the rebels.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor. They frequently target police and government officials, whom they accuse of colluding with landlords and rich farmers to exploit the poor.

Thousands of people, including police, militants and civilians, have died in the violence in recent years.

 

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