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18 rebels and 11 troops killed in Nepal clashes

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, Mar 1 (UNI) At least 18 Maoists and 11 security personnel were killed in a fierce gunbattle in Arghakhanchi district of Nepal today, media reports said.

The rebels and troops were killed during heavy fighting today in Panena area near Palpa in the district, Kantipur daily quoted Royal Nepalese Army official as saying.

The army claimed that dozens of rebels had been killed while the Maoists also said that a large number of security personnel had been gunned down, BBC's Nepali Service said.

The Maoists have claimed that eight of their cadre had been killed in the fighting, the BBC said.

The rebels also said that they killed a large number of personnel and captured a huge cache of weapons from the security forces.

Fighting was going on in the area, local people were quoted as saying.

More than 13,000 people have been killed in the insurgency in Nepal since 1996.

The rebels had intensified their attacks since the end of the four-month-long unilateral cease-fire in January this year.

UNI XC SI LR RAI0000

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