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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Six Maoist rebels killed in Nepal
By Sushil Sharma
BBC News, Kathmandu

Maoist rebels in Nepal
The rebels have carried out a number of attacks in recent weeks
Six Maoist rebels have been killed in a bomb explosion, in a south-western district of Nepal, the authorities said on Sunday.

They say the rebels had been carrying the bomb themselves.

The explosion is said to have occurred on Friday when a group of rebels armed with bombs took shelter in the house of a civilian in Baganaha village.

Five people related to the home-owner were injured and the house was said to have been completely destroyed.

The injured are being treated in the neighbouring district of Nepalgunj.

There has been no comment as yet from the rebels.

The incident occurred less than a week after 38 civilians were killed and more than 70 people injured in a landmine-attack on a passenger bus in the southern Chitwan district.

Following national and international condemnation, a top rebel leader, Prachanda, regretted the attack which he said was a serious mistake.

Violence rising

However, another passenger bus came under rebel attack soon after in an eastern district.

Besides civilians, the bus had been carrying some soldiers returning from a routine patrol.

The rebels said they had targeted the soldiers.

In clashes that followed, two civilians got caught in the cross-fire and were killed. Six soldiers also died.

Violence has escalated in recent months raising the toll of the 10-year Maoist insurgency to more than 12,000.

The rebels want to replace the monarchy with a communist republic.

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