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Aid agencies pull out of Nepal

May 10, 2004 16:15 IST

At least 10  foreign donor organizations have suspended projects in Nepal following threats by Maoist rebels, report agencies.

In a joint statement in Monday's newspapers, they said their staff had been intimidated and bombs placed in the premises of several NGOs they worked with.

The outfits included international development organizations from the UK, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands, among others, as well the United Nations World Food Programme.

Expressing regret for the fact that 50,000 people in remote parts of the country would be affected by this decision, they said, 'support to the development programmes will re-start only when it is clear that staff can operate in a safe environment and according to the guidelines.' 

Early on Sunday, at least 12 people, including six soldiers and a policeman, were killed when Maoists fighting to overthrow the monarchy attacked a Kathmandu bound bus barely 90 km from the capital.

More than 9,500 people have been killed since the communists started their uprising in 1996.

Two rounds of talks with the government failed to resolve the deadlock.

The monarchy has also been under attack from politicians and students after King Gyanendra sacked the elected government in October 2002 and installed a loyalist regime. His Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa resigned last week following increasing public pressure for fresh elections and return to democratic rule.