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Nepal Maoists step up pressure, release 60 soldiers

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept. 16, IRNA
Almost a fortnight into the three-month easefire called by them, Nepal's Maoist guerrillas put additional pressure on the government to reciprocate by releasing 60 soldiers they had taken captive during a fierce battle last month in midwestern Nepal that had killed over 100 people, reports `The Statesman'.

In an operation that almost came undone when the media sniffed and started trailing the actors involved, the rebels successfully concluded negotiations with the International Committee of the Red Cross and on Wednesday evening, handed over all 60 soldiers to an ICRC team in Jajarkot district, a Maoist stronghold in midwestern Nepal.

While there were no official reaction from the government or the army till Thursday evening and the ICRC preferred to keep its customary discreet silence, the Maoists were the first to publicize the news, releasing a statement from underground in the morning.

A total of 64 soldiers went missing after the rebels attacked an army camp in Pili village in Kalikot district, where the army is building a key highway through Maoist territory, in the overnight attack on 7 August.



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