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Bomb Blasts in Nepal, Army Kills Seven

Bomb Blasts in Nepal, Army Kills Seven
April 18, 2002
By REUTERS
Filed at 9:22 a.m. ET

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Bombs shook the capital of revolt-racked
Nepal Thursday wounding at least six people in the latest Maoist attacks to
rock the city as soldiers killed seven rebels in a fresh crackdown, officials
said.

The rebels, seeking to topple the constitutional monarchy in the landlocked
Himalayan nation, detonated a bomb late on Wednesday killing two people,
including a policeman.

Six people, two of them policemen, were wounded in another blast at
around dawn Thursday in a lane in the Maitidevi residential area of central
Kathmandu, a police official said.

Another bomb went off at the home of an adviser to Prime Minister Sher
Bahadur Deuba, on the capital's outskirts, causing minor damage but no
injuries, another police official said.

Defense Ministry said soldiers had killed at least seven guerrillas since
Wednesday.

Four rebels were killed in Rukum and nearby Rolpa in west Nepal while the
others died elsewhere in the country, a ministry spokesman said.

Kathmandu has seen a wave of blasts by Maoist insurgents campaigning for
one-party communist republic ahead of a five-day nationwide general strike
called by the rebels starting next Tuesday.

None of the blasts was in areas of the temple-studded city frequented by
tourists.

Last week, the guerrillas, who draw their inspiration from the late Chinese
communist party leader Mao Zedong, attacked two police posts in west
Nepal.

Officials say some 50 police officers died in the attack and many other rebels
were killed. Media reports said police were believed to have killed 250
rebels in fending off the attack.

The Maoist conflict that began in early 1996 has claimed more than 3,500
lives -- more than 1,700 of them since last November when a fragile peace
process broke down and the guerrillas resumed violence in the impoverished
nation.

The insurgency has hit the aid-dependent economy and crippled tourism in
the scenic nation convulsed last June by the massacre of popular King
Birendra and most other members of the royal family by Crown Prince
Dipendra, who then shot himself.
 
 

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