In a brazen attack, Maoists on Monday blew up a bus killing at least 50 people, including 20 Special Police Officers, in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. The passenger bus, which was on its way from Sukma to Dantewada, was blown up by Maoists between Gadiras to Bhusaras near Chingavaram village, nearly 450 km from capital Raipur, using an improvised explosive device with gelatin sticks. The bus was thrown up several feet due to the impact of the explosion and body parts were strewn along the roadside, according to reports The attack, which took place at approximately 4.45 pm, was seen as yet another violation of Standard Operating Procedures which prohibit policemen and SPOs from traveling in civilian vehicles. The bus was carrying 30 civilians and 20 special police officers of the Jharkhand police, according to the home ministry. No Central Reserve Police Force trooper was on board the bus, said the bus. The SPOs, who are civilians assisting the police in fighting the Naxals, were attached to the Dantewada police. The IED was planted on a metaled road and detonated by the Left-wing extremists using a remote control device. The attack came a day before the start of the 48-hour bandh called by Maoists in five states to protest the security operations launched by the Centre. The home ministry condemned the attack and said most of the deceased were civilians. On April 6, 75 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed when hundreds of armed Maoists ambushed their battalion in the thick forests of Mukrana in Dantewada. On May 8, seven CRPF jawans were killed when Naxals blew up a bullet-proof vehicle in Bijapur district. The Maoists also killed six villagers, including a sarpanch, near Teregaon in Rajnandgaon district on Sunday and threw their bodies outside the villages. Rajnandgaon district has witnessed a series of Naxal attacks in the past. In July last year, Maoists had attacked a police party killing 29 personnel, including Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey. The Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ], which is in power in Chhattisgarh, strongly condemned today's attack and demanded that the menace of Naxalism should be fought with full strength and vigour. "This is a barbaric attack and the BJP strongly condemns it. The government should further strengthen its resources to fight naxalism. This menace has to be fought with full strength and vigour," BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the attack which showed the desperation of the extremists who were losing their support base. "This incident shows the cruel face of naxals. We have been saying this... when the naxals support base finishes they resort to such methods. Their (naxals) belief in people's representatives and local population has finished," the chief minister said, condemning the attack. "There cannot be police personnel in every village... there are 20 thousand villages. The security forces are moving forward in various areas...they are getting trained. We hope that in the future we will be able to enhance security in a better way," he said.