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Nepalese Maoists Attack Publishing Company


Nepalese Maoist activists have stormed the headquarters of a publishing company near Kathmandu, assaulting journalists and vandalizing offices.

Witnesses say about 50 Maoists forced their way into the "Himalmedia" headquarters in Lalitpur district Sunday, accusing the journalists of publishing anti-Maoist stories.

Himalmedia says 12 staff members were injured. The workers, as well as the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the incident as an attack on freedom of expression.

Also Sunday, the U.N. called on the Nepalese government to investigate the disappearance of 170 people during the Maoist insurgency between December 2001 and January 2003 in Bardiya district.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (Rupert Colville) said the commissioner called on Kathmandu to set up an independent and credible panel to investigate all forced disappearances.

In a 99-page report, the U.N. blames 156 of the 170 cases on Nepalese security forces and the remaining 14 on the Maoists.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it believes nearly a thousand people remain missing across the country following the abductions.

Former Maoist rebels now run the Nepalese government after signing a peace deal in 2006 and winning elections earlier this year.