Armed groups attack police posts, loot arms in Nepal

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS

Kathmandu : Unidentified armed groups have attacked several police posts and looted arms and ammunition Monday night, raising anti-election slogans in eastern Nepal, a media report said.

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The armed groups comprising 50-60 people each attacked three police posts in Khotang district, private radio station Gorkha FM reported Tuesday.

The attacks began late Monday night and continued till early Tuesday, it said.

At the Suknajol post, the attackers overpowered the 10 policemen deployed there and locked them up.

Another group attacked the police post at Chisapani and engaged in a 20-minute skirmish with the police personnel. No one was injured in the fighting.

From the two posts, the attackers managed to loot nine guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, the report said.

At the Devisthan post, the armed group failed to loot weapons but succeeded in taking away police uniforms and telephone sets.

The attackers raised slogans against the April 10 constituent assembly election, saying they would not allow the polls to be held, the radio station said.

They also warned of a new armed struggle, in a move reminiscent of the launch of the Maoist insurgency over a decade ago.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks by Tuesday morning.

Security was beefed up and additional police forces were rushed to the district.

The attacks come after the seven-party ruling alliance kicked off a joint poll campaign, pledging they would hold the twice-deferred election as per schedule.