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Nepal rebels kill eight policemen in attack

Written by: Staff
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KATHMANDU, Mar 21 (Reuters) Nepal's Maoist rebels today stormed a police post in the east of the Himalayan kingdom and killed at least eight policemen, officials said.

A police officer said the attack took place at Birtamod, a bustling town in tea-growing country 600 km east of Kathmandu.

''There was a firefight in which eight policemen were killed,'' he said.

On Sunday the Maoists, fighting to topple the Hindu monarchy and set up a communist republic, ended a six-day road blockade that had choked supplies and disrupted transport across the mountainous nation.

They have stepped up attacks on security bases and on towns and cities since ending a ceasefire in January, after the royalist government refused to follow suit.

More than 13,000 people have died since the conflict began in 1996. Yesterday, 13 soldiers and one rebel were killed in an gunbattle east of the capital.

REUTERS PR SSC1054

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