Blast kills 12 police officers in eastern India

Police say a land mine has blown up a police van in a communist rebel stronghold in eastern India, killing at least 12 police officers. Navin Kumar Singh, the superintendent of police, says the officers were on a mine clearing operation Saturday in Burudih, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state. Singh says the rebels have planted land mines in the region to avoid being attacked by security forces. The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.