Six dead as Nepal rebels vow to step up blockade
Maoist rebels who have cut off Nepal’s capital for four days pledged to expand their blockade to the Tibetan border as fresh violence left six people dead. The rebel threat came a day after the government appealed to the Maoists to call off the blockade and resume negotiations to end the increasingly deadly insurgency which has claimed nearly 10,000 lives since 1996. The Maoists have not physically surrounded the city but have warned transporters not to enter the Kathmandu Valley, leading to a siege mentality that has sent some prices soaring in local markets. The rebels announced they would start a new blockade next Saturday to prevent transport from the only land connection into Tibet, the Kodari pass, 115 kilometers (70 miles) north of Kathmandu.