Daring Raid in Dang

Revolutionary Worker #1148, April 28, 2002, posted at

On April 11, Maoist guerrillas in Nepal carried out another daring raid, delivering many casualties to government forces.

The Dang district is about 190 miles to the west of Nepal's capital city, Kathmandu. It is an area that borders India and is just south of Rolpa and Rukum districts--strongholds of the Maoists, where millions of people are now living under a new people's power.

Newspapers reported that Maoist rebels launched simultaneous raids on an Armed Police Force (APF) base in Sadbariya, an area police office in Lamahi and Bhalubang.

Newspapers reported that 60 policemen were killed while defending the house of Interior Security Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka from a rebel attack. Officials said 120 paramilitary police were guarding the house when, according to eyewitnesses, the area was surrounded by thousands of rebels. Dozens of other government forces were killed and many more seriously injured in the simultaneous attacks. The guerrillas reportedly captured rifles, machine guns and ammunition, as well as a huge sum of cash from two banks. It is unclear how many guerrillas were killed.

The Kathmandu Post reported that before the raid, the rebels blocked the busy highway and roads leading to the area by felling big trees and laying landmines in order to prevent government reinforcements from reaching the battle sites. Security forces were only able to reach the battle sites the next morning because it took hours for them to clear the highways.

There were reports that the guerrillas also attacked security personnel in nearby areas in order to divert the attention of the security forces from Lamahi and Sadbariya. Meanwhile communication between the Sadbariya base camp and the police post in Lamahi was disconnected within half an hour after the raids began.

Surviving police said the rebels retreated when a helicopter equipped with night vision flew in the area and began aerial offensives. But then when the chopper disappeared, the rebels returned to inflict heavy casualties on government forces.

The next day more than 3,000 government soldiers reportedly cordoned off the area, authorities clamped down with a curfew and the border with India was sealed.

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