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KATHMANDU (Reuters) - At least 23 Maoist rebels and 10 policemen were killed on Tuesday in escalating violence across Nepal following the end of a rebel-led road blockade, authorities said.



Maoists seeking to topple Nepal's Hindu monarchy have stepped up attacks on security bases, towns and cities since January, when they ended a unilateral ceasefire after the government refused to reciprocate.


King Gyanendra triggered a political crisis 13 months ago, seizing power after accusing the government of failing to crush the Maoist revolt. Analysts and diplomats fear the crisis could turn the scenic but desperately poor nation, wedged between China and India, into a dangerous zone of instability.


Soldiers, acting on a tip, attacked a rebel stronghold on Tuesday in the village of Darechowk, 80 km (50 miles) west of Kathmandu, killing at least 20 Maoist fighters, an army spokesman said.


In a separate incident, Maoist rebels stormed a police post in eastern Nepal and killed nine policemen, police said. Three rebels also died in the clash.


More than 300 rebels, known for hit-and-run attacks on poorly equipped security bases, arrived in buses and trucks and stormed the post at Birtamod, a bustling town in a tea-producing region 600 km (375 miles) east of the capital.


"At least 20 policemen have been wounded and rushed to a hospital," a police official said.


Rebels also gunned down a police officer in the nearby town of Dharan, police said.


On Monday, 13 soldiers and one rebel were killed in a gun battle east of the capital, Kathmandu, a day after rebels ended a six-day blockade that choked supplies and disrupted transport across the mountainous nation.


The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting to overturn the Hindu monarchy and set up a republic in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people since 1996.



What is everyones opinion of this?

I think in a way its good because they are seeking to dismantle a

backward monarchy. On the other hand, these guys are hardcore stalinists, which I dont approve of.


Is progress past the middle ages important, even with Maoists leading?

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In the end, neither of them will have power,

but it's the purpose of the uprising Maoiste or not,

to draw momentum to the Kings replacement...

and in that respect,they will suceed.


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