Rebels kill 12 villagers in India

PATNA: Suspected Maoist rebels raided a village in eastern India early today and killed at least 12 people in an apparent act of revenge after several guerrillas were captured and turned over to police.

Nearly 150 attackers set dozens of mud huts with thatched roofs ablaze, burning to death a family of four in Kasari, a village nearly 200 km southeast of Patna, capital of Bihar state, said US Dutt, an inspector-general of state police.

Seven others were killed when the suspected rebels opened fire on villagers and dynamited some homes, Dutt told The Associated Press.

Another five people were hospitalised and one later died from his injuries, said state official Amir Subhani.

Three villagers were kidnapped by the attackers, though one later returned to the village, Subhani said.

The early morning attack caught most of the villagers as they were sleeping and appeared to be motivated by revenge, Dutt said. The villagers turned eight suspected rebels over to police earlier this month.

The raid came two days after a remote police post in neighbouring West Bengal state was attacked, leaving 24 police officers dead.