Rebel attacks in west Nepal: 6 policemen killed, 4 wounded

Suspected communist rebels attacked two security checkpoints in a western Nepal town on Friday, killing at least six policemen and injuring four others, officials said. The attackers gunned down four policemen at a temporary checkpoint near the main market in Nepalgunj, a town about 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of the capital, Katmandu, state-run Radio Nepal said.

Police were searching for the attackers, who fled with weapons and ammunition taken from the police post, the radio quoted police official Man Bahadur Rawal as saying. In a second attack on the outskirts of the town, two policemen were killed and five were reported missing, a police official reached by telephone said.

The official, who refused to give his name, said the missing men could be hiding in nearby areas after the attack. Several police have been killed or wounded in Nepal since Jan. 2, when the rebels ended a four-month unilateral cease-fire. The group said they halted the cease-fire because the government failed to reciprocate.

The guerrillas, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, began fighting in 1996 to replace the constitutional monarchy with a socialist state. The insurgency has claimed about 12,000 lives, reports the AP. N.U.