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29 Slain in Nepal in Renewed Violence

January 15, 2006|From Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal — Maoist rebels attacked two police stations on the outskirts of Katmandu on Saturday, killing 12 and wounding six in the first violence near the capital since the rebels withdrew from a unilateral cease-fire, officials said.

In the first attack, rebels disguised as security officers approached a police post at Katmandu's main western check point and opened fire. At least 11 police were killed, said officials at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Minutes later an explosion at another station about five miles east of Katmandu killed one police official and left six critically injured. Ten police officers were missing in the blast blamed on the rebels.

The guerrillas claimed responsibility for the attacks in a brief statement posted on their website. It said no rebel fighters were killed in the assaults.

The rebels ended a four-month cease-fire on Jan. 2, saying the government had not reciprocated.

Several policemen have been wounded and killed across Nepal in the last two weeks.

The guerrillas, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Tse-tung, have been fighting since 1996 to create a socialist state. The insurgency has claimed about 12,000 lives.

The Defense Ministry said Saturday that soldiers killed at least 16 rebels in western Nepal -- the largest number of rebel casualties since the guerrillas withdrew from the truce. One soldier was also killed in the clash late Friday.

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