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Hightened security after Maoist bomb attacks
9/2/2002 11:19:00 AM

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KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The Nepalese government has tightened security after a series of bomb attacks on Monday in the capital, which left one soldier dead and many others injured. The rebels have been releasing bombs almost daily in Kathmandu since Wednesday when a 10-month state of emergency imposed to combat a Maoist insurgency expired.

Local authorities and security forces gave wide orders to detain and interrogate suspected rebels as well as to impose curfews when the state of emergency was first imposed in November. However, critics said it curtailed human rights and had not been effective in the fight against the guerrillas, who have been fighting since 1996 for a communist republic.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said Nepal would lift the state of emergency because of elections due to be held this coming November. However, Minister Rishikesh Gautam, warnedd that it could be re-imposed if the law and order situation continued to deteriorate.

United States Ambassador to Nepal Michael Malinowski suggested that the government devise a new strategy to fight terrorism. He also urged the Maoists to lay down their arms and seek a peaceful solution.

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