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Nepalese Rebels Promise Not to Attack American Civilians - 2003-10-28


A Maoist rebel leader in Nepal says his forces will not attack Americans in the country unless they are directly involved with Nepalese military operations. Rebel leader Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, said his group will maintain its policy of not harming foreign citizens who are not involved in combat.

The statement came just days after the rebels threatened to target U.S.-backed organizations in Nepal, leading U.S. officials to issue a travel warning.

The rebels have criticized Washington for giving the Nepalese government millions of dollars in military and development aid, and for helping to train Nepalese soldiers.

The rebel statement also expressed regret for the kidnapping of British army official Adrian Griffith last week. Mr. Griffith and four Nepalese captured with him were returned safely to Kathmandu after two days in captivity.

Also Monday, Nepalese officials said Maoist rebels killed three police officers and injured four more in an ambush on a police patrol near a village in western Nepal. No further detail were immediately available,

The rebels want to overthrow the monarchy in Nepal and establish a communist state.

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