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Maoist Rebels Killed in Nepal

December 4, 1998

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Police shot and killed at least 10 rebels who were trying to disrupt election campaigns in central Nepal, police said.

Five rebels died in the gunbattle Thursday near Karchabang Village in Rolpa District, about 190 miles west of Katmandu, the Nepalese capital. The rebels had earlier tried to kidnap election officials traveling through the jungles before a vote later this month, police said.

In the neighboring Salyan District, police shot and killed five rebels Thursday in two separate incidents.

The government began the process of holding local elections in four districts that have been hit by insurgency. Elections were put off in these districts last year after both candidates and voters stayed away from polling booths after Maoists called for a boycott.

Police said many guerrillas have moved to these areas to disrupt the Dec. 18 elections.

Since the insurgency began more than two years ago, 350 people have been killed, including 24 security personnel and 84 civilians. The guerrillas oppose Nepal’s constitutional monarchy and want the country to be turned into a republic state.

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