Gunmen broke into the house of a Congress leader at Nukalnar in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Thursday and opened fire killing two persons.

The victims were Avdesh Singh Gautam's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh and his clerk Dharmendra Lehari. Mr. Gautam's 12-year-old son and a police guard were injured in the attack that occurred at 1.45 a.m., sources said.

Inspector-General T.J. Longkumer confirmed the killings. It is suspected that the attack was carried out by workers of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and their target was Mr. Gautam, who is considered close to Congress leader Mahendra Karma. Mr. Karma launched the Salva Judum in 2005.

This is the second attempt on the life of Mr. Gautam.

Thursday's killings come amid a 48-hour ‘Bharat Bandh' called by the Maoists to condemn the July 2 killing of CPI (Maoist) Central Committee spokesperson Azad in Andhra Pradesh.

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