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Maoist Rebels Raid Western Nepal Town, Several Policemen Missing


Maoist rebels in Nepal have raided a western town, in one of their largest assaults since ending a unilateral ceasefire earlier this month.

Security officials say at least six policemen were missing, but no casualties were reported when the rebels fired on a police station as well as banks and offices in the town of Dhangadi overnight.

The officials say Nepalese soldiers returned fire, and reclaimed control of the town after a prolonged gunbattle.

Maoist rebels have carried out a series of attacks in western Nepal since they canceled a four-month long truce on January second. The guerillas say they resumed hostilities because Nepal's royalist government refused to match the ceasefire.

The Maoists have been fighting to overthrow Nepal's monarchy since 1996. At least 12,000 people have died in the fighting.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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