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KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Communist rebels attacked a police station in a remote mountain village Sunday, killing at least 40 policemen and injuring 19 others, a government minister said.

There were 70 officers stationed at the post in Bhiman village, about 100 miles southeast of the capital Katmandu, and the remaining 11 policemen were believed to be hiding in the nearby jungle, said deputy home minister Devendra Raj Kadel.

``There were at least 40 policemen killed in the attack and we have reports that another 19 were injured,'' Kadel told The Associated Press.

The insurgents have been fighting to overthrow Nepal's constitutional monarchy since 1996. The rebels say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong.

Fighting intensified following the failure of peace talks between the government and the rebels in October. The following month, the government imposed emergency rule.