Maoists issue apology for civilian deaths in Ch'garh
The blast was a complete failure of our intelligence. We mistook a private jeep for a police vehicle," a statement said.india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 13:21 IST
Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh have apologised for a landmine attack that killed 13 civilians, saying that they had mistaken a private jeep for a police vehicle.
Two persons were also wounded when Communist Party of India (Maoist) guerrillas blew up the jeep in Pakhanjur area, 254 km south of capital Raipur, in Kanker district, onFriday night.
"We offer apology and are keen to provide all possible support to the deceased families. The blast was a complete failure of our intelligence network. We mistook a private jeep for a police vehicle," said a CPI (Maoist) press statement.
It promised to avoid a repeat of such killings of civilians.
Police said six of those killed were tribesmen while the remaining were traders returning from a weekly market.
Opposition Congress party leader Mahendra Karma, who heads an anti-Maoist campaign called Salwa Judum (peace mission), described the Maoist apology as a farce and described the rebels as "terrorists and criminals".
Officials say nearly 100 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since January 1, mostly in the thickly forested tribal stronghold of the Bastar region that includes Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada districts.