Maoists release 22 persons they abducted in south west Nepal

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Kathmandu (dpa) - Maoists facing increasingly hostile press and warnings from human rights groups Wednesday released 22 persons they abducted in southwestern Nepal over the past few days, police said Wednesday.

The police said the Maoists released the abducted persons, inmcluding a number of women, near Butwal, about 200 kilometres south west of the capital. The police gave no further details.

Nepalese media reports said the Maoists on Sunday and Monday abducted at least 22 persons living in a squatters colony near the Butwal Municipality.

All were abducted from a forest near Butwal. The Maoists informed the families about the abduction, according to media reports, and warned them not to tell government security forces about the abduction.

Maoists abduct students and young men and women to make them participate in their indoctrination programmes and allegedly use them occasionally as human shield when attacking security bases. dpa sb sc

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