Nepal

Maoists loot bank in Nepalese capital

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Kathmandu (dpa) - For the first time since King Gyanendra took over power in February, suspected Maoists conducted a daring daytime robbery of a bank in the Nepalese capital, police said.

The bank informed security personnel only two hours after an attacker, believed to be a Maoist, seized the money and escaped, police said.

The bank, located in the centre of Kathmandu, did not explain why its officials failed inform the police in time to prevent the heist.

In what appeared a bizarre case, an employee who did not want to be named said a man came to the bank counter and demanded that he be given three million Nepalese rupees (about 43,000 dollars).

He waited patiently for about three hours and left the bank after collecting the amount. It was only after two hours after the robbery that the police was informed.

The robbery, according to political observers, could shatter the sense of security the Kathmandu residents were said to be experiencing after the February takeover.

Political observers also say that with the government attention diverted to suppressing political opposition, the Maoists could now mount more daring activities in the capital including bombings. dpa sb sc

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