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Strike Paralyzes Life in Nepal

October 7, 1999

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Maoist rebels in Nepal injured 11 people in attacks during a general strike they called on Thursday to shut down businesses across the Himalayan kingdom.

Police detained 700 people suspected of supporting the guerrillas, who have been demanding an end to constitutional monarchy in the Himalayan state and police repression against them.

Four policemen on foot patrol were injured in an explosion in Gorkha, about 75 miles northwest of the capital, Katmandu.

The rebels also hurled crude bombs at two buses that defied the strike. Five passengers were injured when a petrol bomb was tossed into a bus at Chitwan, 125 miles southwest of Katmandu. A driver and an assistant were also injured in another blast in Butwal, 150 miles west of Katmandu.

The strike protested the alleged killing last month by police of Suresh Wagle, one of the rebels’ top leaders. Buses, cars and other vehicles stayed off the roads and schools and shops were closed. Government workers walked to their offices.

The rebels have been waging a guerrilla war for the past three and a half years. Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in their violent campaign.

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