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Landmines kill nearly 1,300 in Nepal: Group

Written by: Staff

Kathmandu, Sep 11: At least 1,290 people have been killed by landmines planted by government troops and Maoist rebels during Nepal's decade-old conflict, a leading anti-mine group said today.

The victims, including nearly 200 women and children, are among more than 13,000 people killed since Maoist guerrillas bent on toppling the Himalayan nation's monarchy launched a revolt in 1996.

''It is very serious and most of the victims are innocent civilians,'' Purna Shobha Chitrakar, coordinator of Ban Landmine Campaign Nepal, part of a international anti-landmine campaign, told Reuters.

At least 4,262 others have been injured by landmines, said Chitrakar.

The government and Maoists agreed to a ceasefire after King Gyanendra restored democracy following weeks of popular protests in April and returned power to political parties, leading to the formation of a multi-party, interim administration.

Both sides have pledged not to lay any new mines as part of a peace process they launched in May but activists say all existing mines must also be destroyed immediately.


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