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Suspected Maoist rebels gun down top Hindu priest

May 06, 2005 12:35 IST

Suspected Maoist rebels on Friday shot dead a top Hindu priest while he was performing puja at a temple in western Nepal.

One of the priest's aides was also injured in the shootout.

Narayan Prasad Pokarel, president, Nepal chapter of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was gunned down around 0630 IST at Ram Nagar near Butwal, 300 km southwest of Kathmandu, sources in the organisation said.

His body will be airlifted to Kathmandu for last rites, they said.

No rebel group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.            

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