Nepal: March 2, 2002


In several clashes in western Nepal, eight rebels and five policemen were killed. The army is moving to surround, locate and destroy rebel bases in the west. The rebels are thought to have 15,000 members, but not nearly that many are armed. There is no nation willing to supply weapons for free and the rebels have to rob banks and extort local businesses in order to raise money. The army has a strength of 46,000, with the national police adding another 16,000 armed men. There are also several hundred retired Gurkha soldiers (having served in the Indian or British armies) who are pro-government. 


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