Maoist rebels in Nepal have killed at least five policemen, abducted at least 12 officers, and freed dozens of jailed rebels in an attack on a small town in the eastern part of the country.
Nepalese officials say hundreds of rebels stormed the town of Diktel late Sunday, destroying six government buildings and attacking a security base. They say most of the inmates released from the government prison were rebels.
Two guerrillas were killed in the fighting.
The attack on Diktel came hours after Maoist leader Prachanda vowed not to target civilians in the rebels' violent campaign to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and replace it with a communist state.
Earlier this month Maoists exploded a powerful landmine under a bus, killing at least 36 people.