South Asia

'Maoist rebel bomb' kills seven in India's Bihar state

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At least seven people have been killed in north-east India after a bomb thought to have been planted by Maoist rebels exploded, Bihar police say.

The device was found on Saturday, but it was not defused immediately. It was cordoned off and covered with sandbags.

It exploded the following day, while it was being examined by local villagers, a police officer said.

State legislative elections were held in the area on Saturday despite a rebel call for a boycott.

More than 50% of voters turned out in Aurangabad and Gaya districts, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A number of people were also injured in the blast, in Aurangabad district. Police also blamed suspected rebels for another explosion in Gaya district on Saturday which killed two people, the agency said.

Saturday's vote marked the end of month-long multi-phase elections for Bihar's 243-member provincial assembly.

Bihar is one of India's poorest and most corrupt states, though many believe it has begun to shed its reputation for lawlessness, caste violence and banditry.

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