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Nepali party says Maoists fail to honour pact

By Staff
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KATHMANDU, Feb 24 (Reuters) Nepal's biggest political party criticised Maoists rebels today for not observing a pact with the main parties in which the rebels committed not to attack political workers.

The Nepali Congress party said one of its members was killed and a relative of the party worker wounded late on Wednesday in east Nepal after the Maoists attacked them with an axe.

''Nepali Congress opposes this type of inhuman act by the Maoists against unarmed political activists,'' the party said in a statement.

''We are worried that the 12-point understanding between seven political parties and the Maoists has not been implemented.'' There was no comment from the Maoists.

The rebels -- intent on overthrowing the monarchy -- and the seven main political parties sidelined by King Gyanendra who seized power last year reached a loose 12-point accord in November to restore democracy and end the king's unlimited power.

As part of the pact, the Maoist insurgents agreed not to attack political workers which they have done in the past.

The Nepal Congress said Maoist leaders should alert their cadres to implement the understanding.

One of biggest donors to Nepal, the United States, has urged the estranged political parties and the king to unite against the rebels, saying they had been emboldened by the political rift.

The king says he was forced to take power after the squabbling parties failed to crush the Maoists who want to set up a single-party communist state in the impoverished kingdom.

The conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives and shattered Nepal's aid and tourist dependent economy.

REUTERS CH KP1743

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