April 5, 2006

Maoist rebels in Nepal kill six police, soldiers in ambush

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Maoist rebels killed six soldiers and
policemen in an ambush in east Nepal on Wednesday, an official
said, a day ahead of a planned nationwide strike by political
parties against King Gyanendra.

"The troops were escorting question papers for the school
leaving certificate examinations when they were ambushed,"
Jhapa's district administrator Bhola Shiwakoti said.

The attack took place at Durgapur in Jhapa district, a
Maoist stronghold 700 km (440 miles) east of Kathmandu.

On Monday, the Maoists declared a unilateral truce in
Kathmandu Valley to allow for greater participation in
pro-democracy protests planned later this week by the country's
main political parties.

But the Maoists said they would not stop attacks in other
parts of the landlocked Himalayan nation.

The rebels, who want to set up a communist republic,
entered a loose alliance with the main political parties last
November to work together against the absolute rule of the

King Gyanendra seized power early last year and justified
his move saying he had to act to crush the Maoist revolt that
has killed more than 13,000 people since 1996.