Maoists launch major strike in Nepal, 10 killed
The Maoist guerrillas in Nepal had launched their first major offensive 11 days after they called off a ceasefire with the government.india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 13:25 IST
Ten Maoist guerrillas were killed in clashes with the army in Nepal on Thursday, hours after the guerrillas launched their first major assault 11 days after they called off a ceasefire with the government.
While the nation's attention was riveted on Dhangadi town in Kailali district where the rebels staged a daring multi-pronged attack on Wednesday night, clashes broke out Thursday in Tanahu district in southwest Nepal, resulting in the death of 10 rebels, the defence ministry said.
At Dhangadi, the rebels had attacked a bank, three police offices, the district prison and barracks of security forces.
There were no details about Thursday's clashes that occurred at Chitre and Ambote in Tanahu district.
The defence ministry said some arms and ammunition had been recovered from the sites of the clashes.
These were the largest casualties suffered by the Maoists since they called off the unilateral ceasefire on January 1.
The insurgents had called a four-month ceasefire in September 2005 after pressure from human rights organisations, the international community and Nepal's major political parties, with whom the rebels have reached an understanding.
However, instead of reciprocating the truce and beginning negotiations, King Gyanendra, who came to power last year through a bloodless coup, continued on a collision course, proceeding with arrangements to hold civic elections next month despite opposition from both the political parties and rebels.
Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda announced on January 2 that his banned Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist was resuming arms, as it was "suicidal" to maintain the truce in the face of attacks by security forces.
Since then, the rebels have bombed municipal offices, with ill-equipped policemen bearing the brunt of their attacks. Five personnel of the Armed Police Force have been killed so far.