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Woman reporter killed in Nepal

A woman reporter who worked for a local radio station in a troubled region of southeast Nepal was stabbled to death by a group of unidentified assailants, officials said.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2009 18:58 IST

A woman reporter who worked for a local radio station in a troubled region of southeast Nepal was stabbled to death by a group of unidentified assailants, officials said on Monday.

Uma Singh, also a member of a rights group, Women's Human Rights Defenders Network, Dhanusha, was attacked late on Sunday while she was sitting in her home in Janakpur, 98 km (60 miles) southeast of Kathmandu.

"It was a gory incident," said Shambhu Koirala, the administrator of the town.

Janakpur is located in the southeast plains of Nepal where a number of armed groups are fighting for regional autonomy.

Officials said as yet there was no evidence of armed groups being involved and the motive for the crime was not clear.

The UN human rights agency condemned the killing and urged the police to conduct a "prompt and thorough" investigation.

"Occuring amid a growing number of reports of incidents targeting journalists throughout Nepal, this tragedy should galvanise those responsible for protection of media freedom to take the necessary action to ensure the security of journalists," said Richard Bennett, representative of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal.

Members of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), an umbrella group of journalists, as well as other local reporters carried Singh's body through the streets of Janakpur during a protest over her killing.

"The government must guarantee press freedom and security to journalists," FNJ chief Dharmendra Jha said.

"We condemn the attack and demand the government find the culprits and punish them."

Private FM radio stations in Janakpur suspended entertainment programmes on Sunday in protest against the killing.