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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02KATHMANDU741
2002-04-13 08:34:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

50 REPORTED DEAD IN MAOIST ATTACKS ON POLICE POSTS

Tags:   PTER  PGOV  CASC  NP 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000741 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS AND DS/OP/NEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2012
TAGS: PTER PGOV CASC NP
SUBJECT: 50 REPORTED DEAD IN MAOIST ATTACKS ON POLICE POSTS
IN DANG

REF: (A) KATHMANDU 731

Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5(B,D).

----------
SUMMARY
-----------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000741

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS AND DS/OP/NEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2012
TAGS: PTER PGOV CASC NP
SUBJECT: 50 REPORTED DEAD IN MAOIST ATTACKS ON POLICE POSTS
IN DANG

REF: (A) KATHMANDU 731

Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5(B,D).

--------------
SUMMARY
--------------


1. (SBU) At least 50 people are reported dead after Maoist
insurgents attacked a civilian police post and an Armed
Police Force (APF) post in the western district of Dang about
30 km from the Indian border late April 11. The insurgents
are reported to have looted armories at both posts, making
off with with an unknown number of weapons, according to
police sources. Smaller-scale attacks on two Royal Nepal
Army (RNA) posts and a second APF post were successfully
repulsed. The attacks discredit reports in the press and on
the political/NGO rumor circuit that the Maoists are seeking
ways to resume dialogue. End summary.

--------------
DANG AGAIN
--------------


2. (U) In an eerie reminder of the coordinated attacks on
Dang military and police targets that broke the cease-fire
November 23, late April 11 Maoist insurgents once again
launched a series of closely timed raids on five military and
police targets in the southwestern district close to the
Indian border. Royal Nepal Army (RNA) soldiers successfully
repulsed small-arms fire on two of their posts in the
district, while an attack on a training center for the
paramilitary Armed Police Force (APF) was also repelled.
(Note: These attacks may have been diversionary tactics to
prevent reinforcements being sent to the other two posts
under attack. End note.)


3. (U) At about 11:00 p.m. Maoists attacked the 65-man
police station at Lamahi (on the East-West Highway about 25
km due south of district headquarters and about 30 km north
of the Indian border). According to police sources, nine
policemen were killed and 63 .303 rifles taken from the
armory. The insurgents also stopped a bus at a roadblock and
shot some of the passengers, killing one (reportedly the
driver), and injuring seven.


4. (U) At about 11:30 p.m. the 125-man company of the APF at
Satbariya--hometown of Home Minister Khum Bahadur Khadga--was

attacked. (Note: Satbariya is off the main highway, a few
km west of Lamahi and about 30 km north of the Indian border.
End note.) Fighting continued until about 2:20 a.m. the
following morning when, according to survivors of the attack,
the embattled APF ran out of ammunition. After the Deputy
Superintendent in command of the company surrendered,
survivors said, he and three other inspectors were executed.
According to the National Security Council, 40 APF were
killed in the attack, and another 40 wounded.

--------------
THE VIEW FROM THE RNA OPS CENTER
--------------


5. (C) Members of a PACOM assessment team happened to be
visiting the RNA Operations Center the morning of April 12
and were briefed on--and able to observe in part--the RNA's
reaction to the crisis. The Ops Center first became aware of
the attacks when reports came over HF radio about 1:30 a.m.
At about 2:00 a.m. a radio transmission from the APF company
at Satbariya requested ammunition resupply. An RNA M-17
helicopter took off from Western Division Headquarters in
Nepalgunj with the requested ammunition, but was hit by enemy
fire near the site and was forced to return. At about 2:15
a.m. a second request for ammunition came in, but a second
helicopter dispatched to the site lost communications with
the APF site, was unable to determine the situation on the
ground, and was ordered to return to Nepalgunj as well.
According to the RNA, the attack was launched from the south;
after the attack the insurgents were observed heading to the
north.


6. (C) Brig. Gen. Dipak Malla, Director of Military
Operations, who was in the Ops Center during the PACOM team's
visit, briefed the assessment team on the RNA's response to
the attacks, including the construction of blocking forces


along the road to Nepalgunj; the dispatch of patrols to track
insurgents retreating to the north; the dispatch of two
fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter to Nepalgunj to bring in
ammunition and pick up wounded; and the preparation of the
military hospital to receive the wounded. Malla told the
team the RNA had received general indications that Dang was a
transit point and that activities in the area were
increasing. Malla said the RNA had advised the APF to
conduct searches in response to this information, but the APF
had not done so.

--------------
"PEACE" FEELERS
--------------


7. (C) The Dang attacks follow closely on increased reports
in the press, as well as rumors among political observers and
human rights groups, that the Maoists are seeking a way to
restart dialogue with the Government of Nepal (GON). Two
NGOs have told poloffs over the past two weeks that their
Maoists contacts were actively seeking a channel to the GON,
but the sources were unable to explain convincingly why the
Maoists might be contemplating such a bid. At the same time,
other reports are circulating that former Prime Minister G.P.
Koirala--whose relations with the insurgents during his own
administration were abysmal--may be trying to meet Maoist
deputy Baburam Bhattarai in India (reftel), presumably for
the same purpose. (Note: The bloody Maoist attacks in
Achham Feb. 17 followed similar rumors, and actually took
place during a visit by a representative of a reputable
conflict mitigation group, reportedly at the behest of
high-ranking Maoists who had signaled their wish to resume
talks with the GON. End note.)

--------------
COMMENT
--------------


8. (C) The Maoists' actions speak louder than whatever
they, for their own cynical purposes, may be telling NGOs and
politicians or saying in their press statements. As long as
the Maoists can overrun and disarm a relatively well-manned
APF post, popular confidence in the GON's ability to protect
the general population--emergency or not--will continue to
decline. End comment.

MALINOWSKI