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Maoist bus explosion kills 5 in Nepal

Kathmandu, Dec. 8 (Reuters): Five people were killed today and more than 30 injured when Maoist rebels blew up a bus in east Nepal, police said.

The attack came less than a week after the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) appealed for talks with authorities to try and end its six-year-old revolt against the constitutional monarchy, and vowed to stop attacks on power, transport and telecoms links.

A police official said the bus hit a booby-trap placed by Maoist rebels at Karkare in Sindhuli district, 100 km east of Kathmandu, this morning.

“Three civilians and two soldiers who were travelling in the bus were killed,” the official said.

Police reinforcements had been rushed to the site and were combing the area for the attackers, another official said.

Another officer said the rebels, inspired by the revolutionary ideas of late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, set off a crude bomb at a restaurant on the outskirts of Kathmandu last night, injuring 11 people. “None of them is critical,” he said.

The government says it is ready for a meeting with the Maoists but insists the rebels, who are fighting to topple the constitutional monarchy, make a formal proposal for talks.

The group has been fighting since 1996 to set up a one-party communist republic. The violence has killed more than 7,200.

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