Vol. 5 Num 382 Fri. June 24, 2005  
Front Page

15 die in Nepal violence
Maoists kidnap 12 troops

At least eight Maoist rebels and seven security force members were killed in a gun battle in eastern Nepal while 12 soldiers were kidnapped by rebels, police said yesterday.

The skirmish occurred Wednesday when a group of rebels attacked a 90-strong security force team searching for Maoists who had been involved in a similar clash with troops earlier this week in a nearby area.

"Following the armed clashes, the Maoists abducted about a dozen security men to an unknown destination," a police official said. "The rebels also fled with some communication equipment."

Nepal's human rights commission has said that Maoist rebels have kidnapped 12 security personnel in the eastern hill district of Bhojpur.

The commission has urged the rebels to free the hostages who it says were kidnapped after clashes on Wednesday.

Casualties were feared on both sides, but the authorities said they had not received any details.