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Maoists torched Indian buses in Nepal
Agence France-Presse, PTI
Kathmandu, May 17, 2004
First Published: 11:58 IST(17/5/2004)
Last Updated: 11:58 IST(17/5/2004)
Maoist rebels fighting to overthrow Nepal's monarchy torched three Indian tourist buses that defied a strike, and bombed a garment factory on Sunday, but no one was hurt, said the police.

The buses were forced to stop Saturday near Palpa, a western town at the crossroads of the Himalayas and the plains. The rebels told passengers to get out before setting the vehicles ablaze, traffic policemen Kamal Gurung said.

At least 25 Indian tourists on one bus had to walk for several hours to find alternative lodging and transportation, Gurung said.

The other two buses were empty after dropping passengers off in Pokhara, the popular gateway to the Annapurna range, he said.

The Maoists had ordered buses and cars not to ply through the Palpa area in a regional protest ahead of a three-day nationwide strike starting Tuesday.

On Sunday, four suspected Maoists broke into a garment factory at Balaju near Kathmandu, warning everyone to leave before setting off a homemade bomb that caused major damage, police said. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

More than 9,500 people have died in Nepal since 1996 when the Maoists declared a "people's war" to establish a communist republic.


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