1. This message updates reporting on Maoist attacks on civilian targets (Ref D) during the month of September. In addition to their demolition of a helicopter on a humanitarian mission and the kidnapping of schoolchildren reported Ref A and the series of bomb explosions in Kathmandu before the September 16 general strike (Ref B), the insurgents increased their attacks on civilians, schools, and infrastructure throughout the reporting period.
2. The Maoists killed 55 civilians during the month of September--the highest civilian death toll in any month in
2002. At least 16 of those killed were identified as local-level party workers of the ruling Nepali Congress; five were members of the Communist Party of Nepal - United Marxist Leninist (UML), the largest Opposition party; two were teachers; and one a retired soldier. During the September 8 attack on district headquarters in Arghakhanchi (Ref C), six civilians were killed. Another two children were killed three days later after playing with an unexploded grenade left behind in the attack.
3. On September 2 the Maoists killed a 72-year-old farmer in eastern Ramechhap District. On September 8 in Rautahat District along Nepal's southeast border with India, Shesh Abdulla, a former head of the local Village Development Council, was hacked to death. On September 14, the insurgents beheaded Lekhnath Chapagain in eastern Ilam District. On September 16, during the Maosits' general strike, or "bandh," a woman was killed by a bomb in Kaski District in the central region of the country. The following day in Kavre District, about 30 km southeast of Kathmandu, the driver of a milk truck was killed in a Maoist ambush. On September 20 in southeastern Udayapur District insurgents, angry that Devaki Katuwal had said she was unable to make dinner for them, stabbed the 80-year-old woman to death. On September 21 in southwestern Banke District Sajat Ali Sheikh and Tribeni Prasad Gupta were beaten to death for being alleged police informants. On September 25 the mutiliated body of Jayaram Shrestha, an Opposition party youth leader, was found in the jungle in Dhading, the district adjoining Kathmandu to the northwest, after he was abducted by Maoists. Local people had reported finding notices announcing a Maoist death sentence on Shrestha posted at various locations in the town.
ATTACKS ON INFRASTRUCTURE, LOCAL GOVERNMENT
4. On September 2 Maoists destroyed part of a small hydroelectricity project in Panauti, Kavre District. The project is no longer producing electricity. On September 6 the insurgents destroyed 2 local government buildings in Tehrathum District, and nine Village Development Council (VDC) buildings in Sindhupalchowk District the following day. On September 9 the insurgents destroyed the District Forestry Offices in Syangja and Pyuthan. On September 14 Maoists attacked an electricity substation in Rautahat District, cutting off electric power to more than 125,000 people.
TROUBLE FOR SCHOOLS
5. On September 2 the insurgents torched five buses owned by a private elementary school in southern Chitwan District. The buses were empty at the time. A bomb exploded at a secondary school in Syangja District the same day. No one was injured. The local press reported September 24 that 11 schools in western Surkhet District had to close after their teachers were forced to attend a Maoist meeting. Meanwhile, in Syangja District, Maoists set fire to a private school and threatened two others, forcing the indefinite closure of all three. On September 24 the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) set off an early-morning bomb at a private school in Kathmandu about 4 km from the Embassy, damaging the school office and four buses. No one was injured in the attack. HALE