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Kathmandu faces Maoist blockade

ASIA: The Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, is preparing for an indefinite blockade called by Maoist rebels seeking to force the king to end direct rule. The blockade, to begin on Tuesday, will affect towns across Nepal, Maoists say. They aim to stop supplies reaching the city mainly through fear of reprisals. The move came as the government renewed an offer of amnesty and cash for rebels who surrender within three months. More than 13,000 people have died in 10 years of Maoist insurgency in Nepal. In February 2005, King Gyanendra sacked the multi-party government and seized direct control of the government. Full Story

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