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Nepal top cop murder suspect held

Kathmandu, Jan. 27: In a daring assassination, suspected Maoist rebels shot dead the chief of the Armed Police Force (APF), Krishna Mohan Shrestha, his wife and a bodyguard while they were on a morning walk on the Ring Road that encircles the twin cities of Kathmandu and Lalitpur.

The attack left Shrestha, 55, dead on the spot, while his school-teacher wife and the police bodyguard succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

Shrestha is the highest-ranking security personnel to be killed in the insurgency that has rocked Nepal for eight years.

Today, state radio said authorities had arrested the suspected leader of the hit squad blamed for Shreshta’s assassination.

Radio Nepal said the man was captured by police in a raid on a home on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

The retaliatory firing by the bodyguard injured one of the suspected assailants, who is now under police custody in hospital.

Shrestha had been appointed the first inspector general of police of the APF in February 2001. The APF itself had been raised as a paramilitary force to take on the Maoists before the army was mobilised against the rebels.

This is not the first time Maoists had targetted Shrestha. Last year, his ancestral house in the eastern hills of Nepal had been blown up by the rebels.

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