April 23, 2006

Nepal rebels attack town, no word on casualties

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Hundreds of Maoist rebels stormed a
town in eastern Nepal and fought a six-hour gun battle with
security forces, a senior government official said on Monday.

He said communication links had been cut with the town of
Chautara, about 100 km (60 miles) east of the capital
Kathmandu, and there was no word yet on casualties.

The attack comes as the country's main political parties
continue major street protests against King Gyanendra, who
sacked the government and took full powers in February 2005.
The parties have entered a loose alliance with the Maoists
against the king.

"It appears to be a pretty big attack. But we have no
details," said the official, who declined to be named.