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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 08:53 GMT
Maoists attack Nepal police post
Maoists in rural Nepal
The rebels abandoned their four-month truce on last week
At least three police officers have been injured in south-western Nepal after an attack by Maoist rebels.

A civilian was also wounded in the attack but it is not clear if the rebels had suffered casualties.

The BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu says the attack was the biggest by the rebels since they ended a unilateral ceasefire earlier this month.

During the four-month ceasefire the number of people killed is said to have declined significantly.

The latest attack targeted a police post in the town of Dhanagadhi, some 600km (375 miles) south-west of the capital Kathmandu.

The authorities say security personnel were able to repulse the attack but the rebels are said to have seized some weapons.

Local residents said gunshots and explosions could be heard for several hours.

Some 21 policemen who had been missing after the attack have since returned.

Rising violence

Violence has risen since the rebels ended the truce, accusing the army of attacks.

The Nepalese government refused to order troops to match the Maoist ceasefire, saying the rebels were insincere.

King Gyanendra, who seized absolute power last February, has vowed to crush the rebels.

More than 12,000 people have died in the decade since the Maoists began their campaign aimed at replacing the monarchy with a communist republic.

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