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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 16:36 GMT
Maoists strike at Nepalese police
By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Kathmandu

Nepalese soldiers
Maoist rebels have stepped up attacks on security forces
At least 11 police have been killed in Maoist rebel attacks on two police posts on the outskirts of Nepal's capital Kathmandu, officials say.

Earlier, the army said 16 Maoists were killed in a clash in central Nepal.

These attacks appear to be the Maoists' most audacious for more than a year, as they are within Kathmandu Valley and only just outside the city itself.

According to initial reports, the attack at Thankot on the western outskirts was particularly bloody.

An armed forces spokesman said there was an exchange of fire but there were some accounts of a bomb blast.

The site is a key entry point into Kathmandu.

Another attack was staged at another police station at Dadikot, about 8km (5 miles) out to the east.

Ceasefire over

Earlier, the army said 16 Maoist rebels and a soldier were killed in clashes in the central district of Syangja.

There was no immediate word from the rebels on the latest violence, although they have already accused the army of exaggerating rebel losses in fighting nearby earlier this week.

Violence has swiftly escalated since a four-month ceasefire by the Maoists expired in early January.

The government refused to join the truce, saying the rebels were using it to rearm.

These attacks in the Kathmandu Valley appear to be in line with rebel threats to urbanise their insurgency.

They have said they will disrupt town council elections scheduled for next month, called by the government which is ruled directly by King Gyanendra.

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