By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA, Associated Press Writer 17 minutes ago
KATMANDU, Nepal - Communist rebels killed at least seven security forces and wounded 15 in two overnight attacks, officials said Tuesday, a day before local elections the government has billed as a small step toward democracy.
The Maoist rebels have intensified attacks in their attempt to foil the elections and have called a nationwide general strike for the entire week to disrupt the polls.
In the first assault on government bases in a town near the Nepalese capital, they killed a soldier and a policeman, said Sambhu Koirala, the chief administrative official in the area. Ten people were injured in the raid, which began late Monday in Panauti, 20 miles east of Katmandu.
Seperately, three soldiers and two policemen were killed in an overnight attack at Gaighat, about 190 miles southeast of Katmandu. Five people were wounded when patroling security forces came under attack by the rebels.
The rebels, who have been fighting since 1996 for a socialist state, have been blamed for killing at least two candidates and attacking several others.