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Unregistered
10th April 2005, 07:03 PM
Meanwhile, the army said Sunday two Russian mountaineers were wounded en route to Mount Everest after their vehicle hit a land mine planted by communist rebels on a highway.

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The latest blast came after another land mine exploded under a bus on Saturday south of Katmandu, killing at least three people and wounding 27.

Both explosions were likely to deal a blow to Nepal's struggling tourism industry, which has already been hobbled by the escalating insurgency and political uncertainty after the king's power grab earlier this year. Officials have said tourist arrivals in the scenic Himalayan nation have plunged in February and March, normally the peak climbing season.

The Russians were in a van heading toward the Everest base camp on Saturday when the blast occurred, said Major Sushil Dahal, blaming Maoist guerrillas for the explosion.

Dahal said the two men were airlifted in an army helicopter to the capital Katmandu for treatment. One was undergoing treatment for unspecified wounds, while the other was treated and released from a hospital, doctors said Sunday.

The explosion occurred near Chehere village on the Arniko highway, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of Katmandu.

Rebels called an 11-day general strike that began on April 2 across this Himalayan nation, and warned against travel on the major highway. They have targeted vehicles that have defied their orders.

Maoist rebels in the past have not specifically targeted foreign tourists, though they do demand money from trekkers and climbers.

The general strike was called to protest King Gyanendra's power grab and imposition of a state of emergency on Feb. 1.

Army trucks continued to escort convoys in and out of Katmandu on the Prithvi highway, a key supply route to the capital. Soldiers at a check point west of the city said traffic had picked up significantly Sunday.

The rebels, who are inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, began their violent campaign in 1996. More than 10,500 have been killed in the insurgency.

http://www.mytelus.com/news/article.do?pageID=world_home&articleID=1892892

mieke
10th April 2005, 09:52 PM
Here's more related news, though not only re. Jiri: =link= (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1535&ncid=731&e=8&u=/afp/20050410/wl_sthasia_afp/nepalrussiatrekkers). "The trekkers were hurt Saturday while travelling by car on mountain roads in the Sindhupalchok district 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of Kathmandu." I took the latest item now, supplied by "Yahoo"; at present there are several more: Newsnow.co.uk (http://www.newsnow.co.uk/newsfeed/?name=Nepal) ; Google News (http://news.google.com/news?as_q=nepal&svnum=10&as_scoring=d&hl=en&ned=us&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nsrc=&as_nloc=&as_occt=any&as_drrb=q&as_qdr=&as_mind=11&as_minm=3&as_maxd=10&as_maxm=4).
And Mounteverest.net "Everest Maoists update - climbers travel with Army escort in tank" (http://www.mounteverest.net/story/EverestMaoistsupdate-climbersescortedwithArmyescortintankApr102005.shtm l) (dated April 10, about the road to Tibet, and more) So be careful when you're out there, please.

http://www.mounteverest.net/story/images/20050409xblock.jpg Mounteverest.net: Image of vehicles halted on the road to Pokhara on Sunday April 2nd, by Klemen Gricar, courtesy of Ivan Vallejo.

Unregistered
11th April 2005, 11:53 AM
Russian Mountain Climbers Knocked Out by Maoists
// The incident
Yesterday, RF Ministy of Foreign Affairs recommended to the Russian citizens to abstain from traveling to Nepal, where the opposition between official authority and Maoist rebels has intensified. During last weekend alone as many as 100 rebels were killed in the country; 2 people died and 30 were injured as result of terrorist acts organized by Maoists. Two of the wounded are Russian citizens, one of whom received heavy injuries.
The armed conflict between Nepal authorities and Maoist rebels has been going on since 1996. During this time more than 11 thousand people have died and several thousands have been missing. By estimations of human rights activists during last year alone more than seven people died each day. On February 1 of this year, the chaos in the country forced Nepal King Gyanendra to dismiss the government and to announce the state of emergency throughout the country. These measures proved unsuccessful – in the last two months more than 300 people died.

Last weekend the conflict between authorities and rebels reached another peak. Police reported that as result of a large-scale anti terrorist operation it was able to destroy 96 fighters. At the same time rebels stormed a prison in Charikot, some 150 km South-East of Kathmandu, the capital, killed a policeman and freed more than 30 prisoners, including 15 rebels.

Same day around noon local time, a group of unknown people threw self-made explosives at a vehicle following on the highway North-East of Kathmandu, where two Russian Alpinists were going to the campsite at the foot of Mt. Everest. The Russian Embassy in Kathmandu told Kommersant reporter that the two climbers, Sergey Kaimanchikov and Alexander Abramov, were trying to catch up with their group, which had left for the camp earlier. As result of the terrorist act both Russians were contused, and Kaimanchikov received a severe leg injury. Kaimanchikov “may have serious orthopedic problems in the future,” the Embassy worker said, citing the doctors, who performed the surgery. Although, the doctors said that Kaimanchikov will most likely be able to return home in a week. The attempts to get in touch with the injured were unsuccessful – after dismissal of the government on February 1, the mobile communication has been out of operation.

Yesterday, RF Foreign Ministry strongly recommended the Russian citizens to abstain from visits to Nepal in view of the intensification of the military and political situation in the country, posing a threat to their safety.

mieke
11th April 2005, 08:34 PM
More detailed info about the location and circumstances of the attack with bombs or grenades, on the two Russian climbers and their driver. Here's an update by Mounteverest.net (scroll down)
No desire to hurt foreigners (http://www.mounteverest.net/story/Maoistblastupdate-Nolandmine,climbersattackedwith3bombsApr102005.sht ml)
The attack occurred near Chehere village on the Arniko highway, about 100 miles west of Katmandu. This is the first time climbers are injured in the Maoist conflict.
(. . .)
The Russian's in yesterday's incident were traveling without escort, defying an 11-day general strike called by Maoist rebels.
"The car lagged behind the rest of the group a bit" (http://www.everestnews.com/everest2005/everestalex2005u04112005.htm), another update at www.everestnews.com

mieke
12th April 2005, 03:23 PM
In addition, because it's relevant, information supplied by www.mounteverest.net
This just in from our sources in Kathmandu on Saturday’s Maoist attacks.

Not a tourist attack

Alex says he and the guys were only 10 minutes behind the convoy, and the car didn’t carry a “tourist only” sticker, as is customary in the current situation. He doesn’t feel that the attack was targeted at tourists, rather that the Maoists mistook them for locals.
"Nepal blast update" (http://www.mounteverest.net/story/NepalBlastupdateThehospitalfeelslikeawarzoneApr112 005.shtml) (mounteverest.net April 11)

That "bandh" is almost over now but even though it may not be one's responsibility as a tourist/foreigner, it turns out it's certainly in your own interest to make sure that the vehicle you use for domestic transport can be easily recognised as being used for TOURISTS ONLY.

Of course that doesn't change the terrible idea that non-foreigners can indeed be blasted away by their fellow countrymen/-women.