Election related violence kills 14

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Indian-electionsNEW DELHI, April 13- Maoist rebels killed 14 people in two poll-related blasts in an insurgency-hit Chhattisgarh state on Saturday, highlighting the major security challenges faced in staging the nation’s marathon general elections.

Most of those killed on Saturday were charged with ensuring election voter safety or other polling-related tasks. Seven polling officials died when Maoists blew up their bus in the state of Chhattisgarh, senior police officer Gurjinder Pal Singh told. Five others were injured.

“The Maoists triggered the landmine blasts,” Singh said.

Five security men, who were carrying out an election safety sweep and who hitched a ride in an ambulance, were killed in another landmine blast. An ambulance driver and a paramedic were also killed in that blast. Four men were injured Singh said.

The Maoists have called for a boycott of the elections. They sometimes target ambulances, as security officials are reported to use such vehicles to attract less attention.

But in this case, Singh said the security men had taken a lift in the ambulance as it was travelling without a patient.

The blasts, came days after Maoist rebels killed three soldiers guarding polling officials in Chhattisgarh.

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