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Nepal: Maoist Attack Kills 22 Policemen - 2004-06-14

Authorities in Nepal say Maoist rebels have killed at least 22 policemen and wounded 16 others in an ambush in the western part of the country. A police official says the attack took place at Khairikhola, a village 450 kilometers west of Kathmandu.

He says the rebels planted a landmine that exploded as the trucks passed.

According to the official, a brief exchange of gunfire between the police party and the rebels followed the blast. The rebels, he says, subsequently ran away.

Maoists began the armed campaign in 1996 to replace Nepal's constitutional monarchy with a socialist state. The insurgency has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 people and has devastated the economy of the poor Himalayan country.