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Nepal devastated by Maoist attack, 41 killed

The year seems poised to be one of the most turbulent times in the Kingdom with at least 41 people being killed in a single day.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 16:54 IST

Instead of bringing new hope, 2006 seems poised to be one of the most turbulent years in Nepal with at least 41 people being killed in a single day.

The Maoist guerrillas announced further disruptions.

On Tuesday, a series of explosions rocked Nepal while King Gyanendra continued to pursue his enigmatic roadmap for peace.

Palpa, a hill resort in western Nepal that was devastated by a Maoist attack last month, reeled under fresh gunfire on Tuesday when the communist rebels attacked security forces in a village, resulting in the death of 31 people.

The Royal Nepalese Army said 18 insurgents and 11 security personnel were killed in the clash while media reports on Thursday said two civilians, including a 10-year-old boy, died in the crossfire.

Five more people were killed in Achham district in farwest Nepal the same night when a bomb went off near a school, reports said.

Three Maoists, who were either carrying a bomb or assembling one died in the blast that also killed a health worker and rights activist in Mangalsen, the district headquarters.

Five more Maoists, including a woman, were killed by security forces in three districts on Tuesday, the reports added.

The upsurge in violence comes as Gyanendra continued to hold yet more consultations with politicians loyal to the crown in Pokhara city, where he is on a three-week unofficial visit, his second such tour this year.

The King met several politicians from pro-palace parties, giving rise to speculation that he was either trying to start talks with the opposition parties or endeavouring to split them further.

Time is running out for the monarch whose one-year of absolute rule has aggravated political instability, Maoist attacks and inflation.

The guerrillas, who crippled life nationwide last month when they imposed a four-day shutdown, have called a general strike and blockade of areas surrounding Kathmandu during March 14-20, to be followed by an indefinite strike from April 3.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 14:05 IST