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Monday, 25 September, 2000, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Maoist rebels kill police in Nepal
Policeman Kasiram Chaudhury
The injured policemen were airlifted to Kathmandu
At least 12 policemen have been killed and 32 others wounded in an attack by Maoist rebels in the north-west of Nepal.

The authorities say the rebels - armed with guns and grenades - attacked a police station in Dunai, in the remote hill district of Dolpa.

They were also said to have freed prisoners from a local jail and robbed a bank.

The BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu says it is the worst attack since the Maoist insurgency was launched more than four years ago.

Nepal map
The attack comes a week after the government announced that it was intensifying police action against the rebels.

Police said a few hundred rebels attacked and completely destroyed the police station in Dunai.

They said the rebels had also suffered casualties but did not say how many.

The injured policemen have been moved to hospitals in the capital, Kathmandu, by helicopter. Reports say the rebels looted tens of thousands of dollars in cash and jewellery from a local bank.

Our correspondent says the Nepalese Government is concerned about the latest violence and have ordered strict security measures throughout the country.

Maoist campaign

The rebels, from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) began their armed campaign in 1996.

Since then, more than 1,400 people - about two-thirds of them rebels - have been killed in Maoist-related violence.

The rebels want to set up a communist republic in the Nepal - the world's only Hindu kingdom.

Amnesty International and the United Nations have criticised both the government and the rebels for human rights abuses in the conflict.

Both sides are under international pressure to start a formal process of peace talks.

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See also:

23 Feb 00 | South Asia
Analysis: Nepal's Maoist rebellion
13 Apr 00 | South Asia
Police die in Nepal mine attack
05 Apr 00 | South Asia
Nepal Maoists kill police
08 Feb 00 | South Asia
Nepal urged to talk to Maoist rebels
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