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Archive for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

At least 16 killed in rebel violence

March 21, 2006

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— Escalating communist rebel violence claimed 16 lives Monday in Nepal, as hundreds of pro-democracy advocates protested against King Gyanendra's direct rule in the Himalayan kingdom.

Maoist rebels ambushed an army patrol in central Nepal in a dawn attack, triggering a shootout that killed at least 13 soldiers and an insurgent near an army camp, the Defense Ministry said. Separately, two civilians were killed by explosive booby-traps as they cleared a highway of stones and sacks placed by the rebels to block traffic in the area, about 300 miles southeast of Katmandu.

In the capital, about 1,000 pro-democracy activists demanded Gyanendra free political detainees and give up powers he seized last year. "Respect human rights, restore democracy," the crowd chanted during a march through the streets of Katmandu.

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