Communist rebels blow up bus in southern India

Suspected communist rebels blew up an empty passenger bus in southern India on Monday, police said. There were no reports of casualties.

Six armed guerrillas entered the state-owned bus, which was parked for the night in the village of Vanipally, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and drove it to a deserted spot before using explosives to blow it up, said D.S. Chauhan, a police superintendent.

Police were searching for the rebels and had cordoned the area around Vanipally, 175 kilometers (110 miles) north of the state capital, Hyderabad, he said.

The attack took place even though police were on high alert in Andhra Pradesh because of a general strike called by the rebels, who claim the police have executed suspected insurgents a charge denied by authorities.

The response to the strike was mixed. Shops, schools and offices were closed in remote villages. But in Hyderabad and other big cities, armed police patrolled the streets and offices and businesses were open, reports the AP.

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