Suspected leftist rebels killed at least 15 security personnel and a civilian driver in an attack on two vehicles in the western state of Maharashtra on Wednesday, police said, as the state celebrated its foundation day.
A senior Maharashtra police official told Al Jazeera that the rebels triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Gadchiroli, which borders the Maoist stronghold of Chhattisgarh.
“It is a dastardly attack, we will try our best that such incidents are not repeated. Our people are present at the spot, more information will come out by today evening,” he said requesting to remain anonymous.
India’s home minister Rajnath Singh described the attack as “an act of cowardice and desperation”.