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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008, 06:33 GMT
Bodies found at Nepal crash site
A boy sits beside the wreckage at the site of the UN crash
The UN team was supervising Nepal's peace process
Officials in Nepal say they have recovered the bodies of 12 people from the wreckage of a United Nations helicopter that crashed on Monday.

The UN has said 10 people, including seven of its staff and three crew members, were on the helicopter.

It is unclear how more bodies have been found from the wreckage.

The helicopter was returning to the capital, Kathmandu, after a regular visit to a camp for former Maoist rebels in eastern Nepal.

It burst into flames after being struck by lightning in the remote Ramechhap district, 65km (40 miles) east of Kathmandu, witnesses said.

Police officer Khinu Prasad Acharya told the AFP news agency that they had not been able to identify the "12 sets of remains" recovered from the wreckage.

He said the UN had secured the crash site, but that rescue work had been hampered by bad weather.

The seven UN officials aboard the stricken vehicle were mainly weapons inspectors from the United Nations Mission in Nepal (Unmin).

Unmin has been assisting Nepal's peace process since the Maoists - a communist rebel group - gave up their armed revolt and joined mainstream politics in November 2006.

UN arms monitors have supervised the presence of the rebels and their weapons in camps around the country.

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Country profile: Nepal
19 Feb 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Nepal
19 Feb 08 |  Country profiles

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