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Five killed in Nepal protest

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Kathmandu: At least five protesters were killed and many injured in Nepal’s southern plain on Tuesday during agitations against the proposed seven-province model in the Himalayan nation, taking the toll to 20 in two weeks. Nepal has been witnessing deadly clashes over the federalism model. Four protesters died during a violent clash in Birgunj of Parsa district on Tuesday. The toll in Birgunj rose to five, as another person was killed on Monday during a clash with police. Meanwhile, in Kalaiya, headquarters of Bara district, a person died and 17 were injured during a clash with security personnel on Tuesday.

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Hifajat Miyan, of Kalaiya-10 area, died after being hit by a bullet fired by police at protesters during the clash. The demonstrators took away Miyan’s body. Three protesters injured in clashes with police at Laxmanuwa Chok in Birgunj died during treatment. Dinanath Sah and Bhola Prasad Sah, who sustained bullet injuries during the clash, succumbed at the National Medical College Hospital, its in-charge Dililp Sah said. Another man named Sohan Kalwar died on the spot during a clash in Naguwa Chok, while the name of the fourth person killed in Birgunj on Tuesday was not immediately known. Around a dozen people including Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L) central member Ameri Lal Pal Raut were injured.

Meanwhile, the local administration declared Birgunj a riot-hit area. Police opened fire during a clash with protesters on Tuesday afternoon in Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan City-16. Cadres of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha demonstrated in various parts in Birgunj, defying the indefinite curfew enforced by the administration since 4 p.m. on Monday. Police also fired at the protesters when they reached the District Development Committee office, leading to injuries to many people.

(IANS)

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

Also Read: Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)

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