Explosion in western Nepal: 5 killed

Five suspected communist rebels were killed in western Nepal, apparently when they accidentally triggered a homemade bomb, police said Wednesday.

The explosion occurred Tuesday night at Mangalsen, a town about 600 kilometers (375 miles) west of the capital, Katmandu. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the town a few weeks ago because of increased rebel violence.

Police official Bhupendra Timilsina said police were investigating the cause of the blast, but suspected that those killed were communist rebels who accidentally triggered a homemade explosive device.

Government troops took control of the blast site and searched for rebels who might be hiding in the area, he said.

The guerrillas have a strong presence in the area and control much of the remote portions of Nepal's western region.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, have fought for a decade to establish a communist state in Nepal. The insurgency has claimed nearly 13,000 lives, reports the AP.


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