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Nepal Clashes Kill 24 as Rebels Block Kathmandu Highways

Clashes between Maoist militants and government forces in western Nepal have killed at least 24 people, as a rebel-blockade shut down major highways in the capital city.

Army officials say rebels attacked patrols in a remote area in far-western Nepal. Officials said at least 22 guerrillas and two soldiers were killed in the fighting.

In the capital Kathmandu, Maoist rebels Thursday blocked major roads in and out of the city to protest alleged abuses by security forces.

The rebels are demanding information about their missing activists who, they say, disappeared while in custody.

A similar rebel road-block in Kathmandu for a week in August led to a shortage of essential supplies in the city.

Maoists rebels have been fighting since 1996 to replace Nepal's constitutional monarchy with a communist state.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.