Maoist rebels bomb tourist resort

Published on May 15, 2004 02:23 PM IST

Maoists guerrillas blasted a bomb at a hotel popular with foreign tourists, in an attack that caused damage but no casualties.

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HT Image
PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Kathmandu

A group of Maoists guerrillas planted a bomb at a hotel popular with foreign tourists west of Kathmandu, police said Saturday, in an attack that caused damage but no casualties.

Police said more than 100 foreign tourists were eating at the Fishtail Lodge hotel in Pokhara late Friday when more than a dozen rebels, among them four women, planted the bomb and warned tourists to evacuate the hotel.

"Though the bomb damaged the restaurant, no one was injured or killed," police said.

"After hearing the bomb warning, all the tourists rushed out to the courtyard," restaurant manager J. M. Basnet said, adding that the attackers then fled into the jungle before security forces arrived.

The tourists included French, British and other Europeans and about 30 Indians, a hotel source said. The hotel is a popular tourist resort where the Nepalese royal family used to stay while in Pokahra.

The rebel attack came only hours after their regional leader Raj Bikram Bhurtel and his wife were killed outside Pokhara. The army said they were shot dead while trying to escape arrest.

Maoist rebels have been fighting for a communist republic in Nepal since 1996 and the uprising has so far claimed more than 9,500 lives.

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