Maoists once again struck civilians on Saturday night, blowing up an ambulance in Orissa's Kandhamal district that left five persons dead.
The dead included a three-year-old girl, a woman health worker and the driver of the vehicle. They were returning to their village after admitting a pregnant woman to a hospital in nearby Ganjam district.
"We suspect the hand of the CPI (Maoist) in the landmine blast. A combing operation is on," Kandhamal superintendent of police Pravin Kumar said.
In May, the Maoists had apologised after blowing up a bus in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, killing 36 people — including 12 special police officers. They had then said their comrades were under the impression that the bus was carrying only police personnel. There was no such apology after Saturday's blast.