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Last Updated: Monday, 13 September, 2004, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
US Nepal embassy in families plea
American centre in Kathmandu
The US condemned attacks on the American centre in Kathmandu
The US embassy in Nepal has asked Washington to allow staff families to return home for security reasons.

It has also asked for permission to suspend the Peace Corps programmes in the country.

The requests came after suspected Maoist rebels set off two small bombs at the US information centre in the capital, Kathmandu, on Friday.

The US has also announced it is providing another $1m to Nepal to tackle the Maoist insurgency.

'Violated'

A US embassy statement said: "In light of the current security situation, the ambassador is recommending that the US State Department allow the family members of the official community to depart Nepal if they wish.

"In addition, he is recommending the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps programme in Nepal."

The corps is a US government agency that works for community development across the globe, covering such areas as education, health care, farming, forestry and sanitation.

There are about 40 family members of US embassy staff in Kathmandu and nearly 90 Peace Corps volunteers.

Following Friday's bombings, the embassy issued a statement saying the attacks not only endangered lives but also violated international norms and laws.

No group has said it carried out the attacks but Maoist rebels have been critical of the US for providing military and financial assistance to Nepal's government.

The rebels have been engaged in an armed struggle since 1996 to replace the monarchy with a communist republic.

About 9,000 people have died since then.


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