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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 07:37 GMT 08:37 UK
Hindu leader shot dead in Nepal
Maoist rebels
Police suspect that Maoist rebels are behind the killing
A prominent Hindu leader has been shot dead in south-western Nepal.

Narayan Pokharel, president of the Nepal branch of the World Hindu Council, died when six gunmen opened fire in the district of Rupandehi.

No one has admitted carrying out the attack. However, police say the manner in which it was carried out hints at the involvement of Maoist rebels.

The right-wing World Hindu Council has its headquarters in neighbouring India and has branches all over the world.

The incident happened in Dudrakshya village in Rupandehi district, some 300km (185 miles) from the capital, Kathmandu, where Mr Pokharel was attending a religious function.

Reports said that the gunmen came on motorcycles and shot at Mr Pokharel outside the guest house where he was staying.

Maoist rebels in Nepal have been fighting for a communist republic for the past 10 years.

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