Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Blow-by-blow



The Maoists attacked a helicopter in Surkhet airport. This was the message conveyed to the officer in charge of the Dang army barracks, Major Naresh Uprety by the officer in charge of the battalion stationed in Surkhet. As soon as Major Naresh Uprety heard this, he called all his officers and the battalion and placed them on alert. Nothing happened until 10PM, after which Major Uprety called off the alert. All the weapons were deposited in the armoury and everyone barring the sentry and a few other soldiers went to sleep. It was about 10.45PM.

About 20 to 25 minutes, later the peace at the barracks was shattered. The Maoists attacked the town, overpowered the police and the district administration, and moved towards the army barracks. They crashed a Sajha transport bus into the barrack compound at five minutes past 11. The rebels then split into two groups, one moving towards the area where the soldiers were sleeping and the other towards the armoury that was being guarded by 13 soldiers.

The 13 fought back as long as their ammunition lasted. The Maoists numbered in the thousands. It is believed that though all 13 soldiers died, they had managed to kill or injure almost 300 Maoists. So, the Maoists focused more on collecting their injured and dead, rather than on attacking. As a result, they were killed in large numbers. Those who escaped the onslaught started loading their incapacitated and dead into trucks. Army sources say the Maoists were intent on capturing the barracks, and so kept fighting for more than two hours, trying to get the army to exhaust its ammunition. What this policy ended up in causing was a large number of Maoist casualties. Major Uprety then moved towards the armoury to replenish ammunition. He was shot in the neck and died immediately. After he fell, Captain Karki took over and also moved towards the armoury to get more firepower. He, too, was shot down. As the soldiers could not get more weapons and ammunition either, they were killed by the Maoists.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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