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Bombs Explode at Luxury Hotel in Nepal

August 17, 2004

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ At least four bombs exploded at a luxury hotel in the Nepalese capital on Monday after it defied leftist-rebel orders to shut down, police said.

Earlier, officials blamed the rebels for another bombing in a busy market in southern Nepal that killed a 12-year-old boy and wounded six others.

There were no casualties in the blasts at the Soaltee Hotel, which is managed by the Intercontinental Hotels Group and located on Katmandu’s western edge.

The hotel was one of a dozen businesses threatened by a rebel-affiliated trade union after they were accused of exploiting employees.

The rebels say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong and want to replace Nepal’s monarchy with a communist state. The insurgency has claimed more than 9,500 lives since 1996.

Fighting between rebels and government forces has escalated since the last peace talks broke down in August 2003.

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