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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 10:57 GMT
Chinese 'deliver arms to Nepal'
King Gyanendra
King Gyanendra assumed direct power in February
Eighteen trucks of arms and ammunition have been delivered to Nepal from China, media reports in Nepal say.

The Kantipur newspaper said the Chinese army escorted the trucks to the Tibet border on Tuesday and Wednesday where plain-clothed Nepali troops took over.

Nepal has looked to China for arms since the US, UK and India suspended military aid after King Gyanendra's takeover of power in February.

There has been no official confirmation of the delivery by Nepal's government.

The BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu says external assistance is crucial for Nepal's army in its fight against the rebels, who want a communist republic.

Personnel carriers

China last month agreed to provide $1m in military aid to Nepal following a visit by the chief of the Royal Nepalese Army, Pyar Jung Thapa.

The independent Nepali-language Kantipur daily said 12 trucks crossed on Tuesday and another six on Wednesday, quoting unidentified sources.

Kantipur said it was the first time China had provided guns and ammunition to Nepal.

China reportedly supplied Nepal with five armoured personnel carriers in June.

Nepal's traditional military suppliers suspended aid after the king took over direct power. He said politicians were corrupt and had failed to tackle the Maoist insurgency.

Some 12,000 people have died in Nepal's 10-year civil war.

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