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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Indian politician survives attack
Chandrababu Naidu
Naidu has been targeted by the People's War Group
Leftist rebels have tried to kill the chief minister of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, but Chandrababu Naidu survived the mine blast, police say.

Mr Naidu had a narrow escape when the mines exploded close to his car, but four others were reported to be in a serious condition.

The explosion occurred on a forest road between the Hindu temples sites at Tirupati and Tirumala, the police say.

Mr Naidu was rushed to hospital where he was treated for leg and shoulder injuries - his condition was not considered to be dangerous.

The four seriously injured are state cabinet minister B Gopala Krishna Reddy, two state legislators from Mr Naidu's party, and his driver.

Hit list

The incident occurred around 1600 local time when Mr Naidu was travelling in a large convoy heading to the famous Lord Venkateshwara temple in the Tirumala hills.

The police say they suspect that the outlawed People's War Group (PWG) was behind the attack.

Senior police official SR Sukumara said claymore mines were triggered by remote control as Mr Naidu's bullet-proof white Ambassador car passed by.

Claymore mines carry a small charge packed behind hundreds of steel balls. On detonation, the balls shoot forwards and are likely to kill anyone in their path.

They are considered ideal weapons for ambushes.

Activists of Mr Naidu's regional Telugu Desam party took to the streets of Tirupati, smashing windscreens of buses in protest at the assassination attempt.

Mr Naidu is a key ally of Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and is often named as a potential national leader.

The BBC's Omer Farooq in the Andhra Pradesh capital, Hyderabad, says Mr Naidu's car was completely destroyed in the blast.

Mr Naidu is one of the political leaders on the hit list of the PWG.

The PWG has carried out such blasts in the past, targeting politicians and police officials.

The former home minister of Andhra Pradesh, A Madhav Reddy was killed in a massive land mine blast in March 2000 at Ghatkesar near Hyderabad.




SEE ALSO:
India rebels vow to fight on
20 Jun 03  |  South Asia


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