Monday, November 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Maoists gun down 6 cops

Kathmandu, November 25
Maoists struck afresh in Nepal killing seven persons, including six policemen, in an ambush in southwestern Surkhet district and the government said about 80 rebels probably perished in encounters during a series of attacks they launched across the country.

Fortysix personnel of the armed police forces were heading to Birendranagar in Surket district, 450 km from Kathmandu, in a truck last evening when they were attacked, official sources said today.

Five policemen and the driver of the truck were killed on the spot and two of their colleagues were injured.

Minister of State for Home, Devendra Raj Kandel, told PTI that 38 other policemen, feared missing, were safe.

In a series of attacks across Nepal on Friday night, the Maoists killed 37 security personnel and two civilians, looting banks and houses of ministers and blasting government buildings.

Home Ministry officials said today that between 70 and 80 guerrillas might have been killed in separate encounters with securitymen.

The exact number of casualties on the rebel side could not be confirmed because of the remoteness of the areas where the incidents took place. Besides, the Maoists usually take away the bodies of their killed cadres or bury them after clashes, the officials said.

The officials said a large quantity of arms and ammunition was believed to have been taken away by the guerrillas from the military barrack in Dang district. That included 400 guns, self-loading rifles and machine guns.

Meanwhile, the ruling Nepalese Congress Party has asked the government to deal with the security problem in the country “strongly”. It said the government should exercise all rights under the Constitution of the Himalayan kingdom to guarantee peace and security.

Under Article 115 of the Constitution, emergency can be declared in case of war, external threat, armed revolution or devastating economic crisis.

The King after consultations with the Prime Minister may declare partial or total emergency in the country for six months, which must be ratified by the two-third members of the House of Representatives and may be extended for another six months if the House approves.

The army can be mobilised by the King under Article 118 of the Constitution which deals with the security council headed by the Prime Minister. PTIBack

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