- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PATNA, INDIA (AP) - Police say nearly 250 suspected Maoist rebels have stopped a train with hundreds of passengers aboard in eastern India, a day ahead of parliamentary polling that the guerrillas have vowed to disrupt.

Hemant Toppo, superintendent of police, says police reinforcements are being rushed to the forested area in eastern Jharkhand state.

Toppo says the rebels are refusing to let the train leave the station in the small town of Hegarah. There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

Authorities suspect Wednesday’s attack was an attempt to disrupt voting Thursday in India’s national election. The rebels have asked people in the region to boycott the polling.

Police say rebels killed 17 people across the country in attacks timed to voting last week, during the first phase of the elections.

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