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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 July, 2005, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
Pillion ride ban in Kathmandu
Security is tight in Kathmandu
Authorities in Nepal have banned passengers from riding on the back of motorcycles in the capital Kathmandu for security reasons.

A government statement said that the country's Maoist rebels had been using motorcycles to launch attacks.

Some 12,000 people have died in the 10-year Maoist insurgency that is aimed at replacing Nepal's monarchy with a communist republic.

Pillion riding is already banned in other parts of the country.

The BBC's correspondent in Kathmandu says the latest security measure has come amid speculation that rebels could target government installations and security personnel in the capital.

"Terrorists riding on the back on motorcycles have used weapons to attack," a home ministry notice, quoted by the Associated Press, said.

There has been no major attack in Kathmandu since King Gyanendra took direct power in February this year.

However, rights groups say casualties due to the conflict have gone up outside Kathmandu in the past five months.

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