//Maoist rebels in India seize passenger train -police

Maoist rebels in India seize passenger train -police

13 Mar 2006 19:04:01 GMT,Source: Reuters

RANCHI, India, March 13 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Maoist rebels on Monday seized a passenger train in eastern India with around 200 people on board, police said.

A Maoist rebel on the train pulled the emergency cord, forcing the train to stop in a densely forested area in Latehar district, 160 km (100 miles) west of Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand state.

"It is not known whether the passengers are safe or have been robbed," said senior police officer Subodh Kumar in Lathehar district.

Maoist rebels, who say they are fighting on behalf of poor peasants and landless labourers, have stepped up attacks on police and government supporters in eastern India in recent months.