Suspected rebels kill 2 Indian soldiers
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Suspected rebels kill 2 Indian soldiers

PATNA, India (AP) — Police say suspected Maoist rebels have blown up a jeep carrying paramilitary soldiers, killing two and wounding three others hours before voting began in eastern Bihar state in the third phase of India’s national elections.

Police officer Jitendra Rana says the soldiers were patrolling a forest in a rebel stronghold in Munger district when a landmine went off early Thursday. The area is 225 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Patna, the state capital.

(MORE: Fear of Maoist extremists overshadows India’s elections)

However, voting remained unaffected and started as scheduled, Rana said.

Millions of people are voting in the third phase of elections on Thursday, covering parts of 11 of India’s 28 states. The multiphase voting across the country runs until May 12, with results for the 543-seat lower house of parliament announced May 16.