Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 09:06 UK

India hit by two Maoist attacks

Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh
Maoists have a presence in 182 districts of India

Maoist rebels in the Indian state of Bihar have attacked a railway station, killing five policemen and a porter, officials say.

Police say that the rebels surrounded a police railway outpost at Jhajha railway station in Jamui district.

The rebels also looted arms and ammunition in the attack, police say.

Meanwhile police in the state of West Bengal say that three members of the ruling Marxist party have been shot dead by Maoists in a remote region.

The three leaders were killed in broad daylight in the state's remote Salboni region bordering the state of Jharkhand on Sunday.

Police said that a squad of 10 to 12 Maoists kidnapped seven political activists from Garmal village and took them to nearby jungle.

Three of those captured escaped, one was severely beaten up and the others - including a Communist Party of India (Marxist) branch secretary - were shot dead.

The CPI(M) has called for a day-long strike in the Salboni area to protest against the incident.

'Combing operation'

Police in Bihar told the BBC that Maoists attacked the railway police post on Sunday evening.

They say extra personnel have been rushed to the area and a "massive combing operation" is now underway.

Maoists have a presence in about 22 districts of Bihar as well as in the neighbouring state of Jharkhand.

Analysts say that they operate in 182 districts in India, mainly in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The rebels say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless workers.

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