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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 14:33 GMT
New Nepalese rebels stage strike
A three-day strike called by a rebel splinter group has crippled normal life in southern Nepal.

Traffic has come to a halt and business establishments are closed in the central Terai region of the country.

Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha, which split from the Maoists, has been demanding autonomy for the Terai region.

The area comprises 25 districts and is inhabited mainly by people of Indian origin.

In addition to the disruption, there were reports of attacks on vehicles and small businesses.

Security experts have criticised the government for its failure to maintain law and order in the region.

The strike has affected landlocked Nepal's trade with India and much of the outside world.

It has also been felt in western and eastern Nepal.

The splinter group has expressed readiness to hold talks with the multi-party government under UN supervision.

But the sceptics are not convinced of its sincerity as it recently launched an armed struggle against the government.

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