MAOIST INSURGENTS KILL 41 POLICEMEN IN NEPAL
by Chiranjibi Paudyal
American Reporter Correspondent
KATHMANDU, July 7, 2001 -- Underground Maoist rebels in thisland-locked = and troubled Kingdom killed at least 41 policemen last nightin three separa= te incidents in western Nepal. It was the most deadlyattack by Maoists sin= ce the Royal Palace massacre, in which 10 peopleincluding the King, Queen, = Crown Prince, and members of the royal familywere killed by the former Crow= n Prince.
The rebels attacked the Bichaur Police Post in Lamjung district inwest= ern Nepal at 2:30 P.M. Friday night, killing 22 policemen, includingone pol= ice inspector, in the cross-fire.
About 12 of the Maoists are believed to have been killed in theincident= s, said the state-run Radio Nepal, quoting the Lamjung chiefdistrict office= r.
At least 10 policemen were killed by the Maoist rebels at TarukaPolice= post in Nuwakot district, 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, and atleast 9 o= ther policemen were killed in Bamitaxar, in Gulmi district, about161 miles = west of Kathmandu last night, police said. The rebels have alsodestroyed th= e police posts with bombs after looting them for weapons,according to Radio= Nepal.
The Maoists have greatly increased anti-government ambushes andother att= acks throughout the country, including in Kathmandu, the capital,over the l= ast few years. Bombs were discovered ready to explode in manyparts of the = capital Thursday and Friday, and one exploded in front of thechief justice'= s official residence, a short distance from the PrimeMinister's residence.=
No one was injured in the incident. Police believe that Maoistsare tryi= ng to terrorize people in advance of a general srtrike the Maoistshave call= ed for July 12.
The chief justice escaped a Maoist attack in western Nepal aboutsix mont= hs ago. Six people, including one senior judicial official, werekilled in = that incident.
At least 10 people, including 6 policemen and 3 Maoist rebels,were kill= ed in fighting in two separate incidents in the Tanahun and Rolpadistricts = last week.
The rebels also kidnapped 34 policemen in Banke and Pyuthan inwestern Ne= pal last Thursday.
More than 1,600 people have been killed since the Maoistinsurgency bega= n in 1996. The Maoists want to establish a Communist systemmodeled on that = of the of Peoples Republic of China to replace the presentparliamentary dem= ocracy and constitutional monarchy.
Nepal, a small landlocked country sandwiched between two Asiangiants, In= dia and China, faces many problems including the insurgency,slow economic g= rowth and widespread poverty.
In response to the insurgency, the government has launched anintegrated= security and development program in seven affected districts ofwestern Nep= al. The program will be launched by mobilizing the police andNepalese Army.