Communist Rebels Attack Indian Politicians, Kill 24.

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Rebels from the militant communist Naxalite movement killed 24 in an attack yesterday on a campaign convoy for the ruling Congress Party of India. The Congress Party Convoy had been sent deep into the jungle to campaign amongst tribal peoples, also the traditional stomping grounds of the Naxalite Movement. As the Associated Press reports:

“Indian officials reacted with outrage Sunday to an audacious attack by about 200 suspected Maoist rebels who killed 24 people by setting off a bomb and firing on a convoy carrying ruling party leaders and members in an insurgency-wracked state. Saturday’s ambush, which targeted Congress party politicians returning from a campaign event with the area’s indigenous tribal community, appeared to be a warning to officials to stay away from the rebels’ main base of support.”

The Maoist Naxalite Insurgency, which annually kills hundreds throughout eastern India, is a Cold War relic of sorts as one of the only remaining violent Communist insurgencies left active in the world, alongside the Shining Path in Peru and collections of various communist groups in Turkey and historic Kurdistan. Inspired by the proletarian rhetoric of Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong, the Naxalite movement exhorts violent revolution amongst tribal and agrarian societies in India, with the ultimate goal of creating a independent Marxist state in eastern India. India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, estimates nearly 70,000 armed rebels at work in the Naxalite movement with increasing numbers in recent years, causing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to call them “India’s greatest internal security threat”.

China, India’s communist (in-name-only) neighbor to the north, officially denies any link to the Maoist Naxalite rebels, especially after having largely abandoned Maoism themselves in the late 70s. However, evidence has surfaced in recent years which suggests some minimal support from Chinese People’s Liberation Army operatives does occur, fueling the intensifying geopolitical rivalry between the two Asian nations.

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