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Nepal Maoists attack army convoy; 6 killed

A Royal Nepalese Army convoy was heading on Thursday for Rupandehi in southwest Nepal when it was ambushed by the rebels.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 13:11 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

On the heels of the controversial local polls in Nepal, fresh violence erupted with the Maoists ambushing a security convoy and triggering a clash that is feared to have killed at least six people.

A Royal Nepalese Army convoy was on Thursday heading for Rupandehi in southwest Nepal along the Mahendra highway when it was ambushed by the rebels, media reports said on Friday.

The insurgents triggered an explosion that set at least three security vehicles ablaze and brought retaliatory fire by security forces, the Himalayan Times daily reported.

A woman passer-by and at least two security personnel were killed in the blast.

The daily quoted eyewitnesses as saying that six bodies were lying on the highway after the blast. Some of the attackers were also killed in the ensuing gun battle, the daily said.

However, the exact nature of the casualties could not be officially confirmed immediately.

The Maoist ambush comes as the government of King Gyanendra tried to portray Wednesday's municipal elections as peaceful and successful and said it would go ahead with a general election next year.

The polls were held amid stiff opposition by political parties and the Maoists as well as condemnation by the US, Japan and India as a farce.

Only 21 per cent voters turned up on Wednesday, denoting about one percent of Nepal's total population of 27.7 million, while 58 per cent of the seats remained vacant due to the absence of candidates.

Only 22 parties, most of them fringe or new outfits, took part in the exercise.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 12:12 IST