Maoist rebels kill ten people in Nepal
The attackers also knocked down the telecommunication tower around midnight cutting off all communications.india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 12:21 IST
As the world remained focused on Kathmandu to see what King Gyanendra would do next, hundreds of Maoist guerrillas struck in north Nepal late on Sunday, triggering an overnight battle in which at least 10 people were killed.
The rebels, who had been quiet since their supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda announced a ceasefire in Kathmandu Valley earlier this month, struck in Chautara, headquarters of Sindhupalchowk district near the Tibetan border.
At least eight guerrillas, including their platoon vice-commander, a soldier of the Royal Nepalese Army and a civilian caught in the crossfire died in the battle that continued till early Monday, private FM station Himalayan Broadcasting Corporation said.
The civilian was the owner of a local teashop.
Hundreds of Maoists simultaneously attacked the district police headquarters, prison and army barracks and blasted several government offices.
The post office and district education office were damaged and the rebels also set off an explosion at the hospital, bringing its roof down, the station said.
Patients at the hospital were being airlifted to Kathmandu, it said.
The royalist government has imposed curfew in Chautara from 6 am to 5 pm and soldiers were conducting search operations.
The radio said the attacking guerrillas had forced civilians to admit them and had carried out the attack from civilian houses.
Those who tried to bar the rebels had their doors knocked down, it said.
The Maoist attack comes on the eve of a gigantic onslaught planned against King Gyanendra by the opposition parties in the capital Tuesday.
The rebels, opposition and masses are pushing for the ouster of the king, the most hated monarch in the Shah dynasty in Nepal's history, and demanding the abolition of monarchy with the establishment of a republic.
At least 14 people have bee killed in the continuous anti-king protests that erupted nationwide from April 5 while over 5,000 have been injured, hundreds of them seriously.