Maoist rebels in western Nepal have released 25 people they held captive for a month in a remote mountainous region.
Negotiators from a local human rights group say the villagers were taken hostage on June third while conducting a government awareness campaign on conflict management in Lakandra village.
The villagers say the Maoists seized them because they were conducting the program in a rebel stronghold without rebel permission.
The rebels, who claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, have been fighting since 1996 to replace the constitutional monarchy in the world's only Hindu kingdom with a communist state. More than 11,000 people have been killed in the conflict.