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Journalist missing, reportedly abducted and killed by militant group

(FNJ/IFEX) - Kanchanpur-based journalist Prakash Singh Thakuri has been missing since 5 July 2007.

According to journalist Chitranga Thapa, Thakuri's wife Janaki informed the police that Maoist cadre Pomlal Sharma had inquired about him on the morning of 5 July. This was confirmed by Sharma, who also told the police that a Young Communist League (YCL) member known as "Dilip" took Thakuri away.

Meanwhile, Maoists organized a press conference on 9 July and denied their involvement in Thakuri's abduction.

On 8 July, a group calling itself the National Republican Army Nepal (NARN) claimed that it had killed Thakuri. The NRAN sent an e-mail to a Kailali-based newspaper office and owned up to the abduction. The group claimed the journalist was killed while trying to flee. The e-mail also stated the reasons for Thakuri's abduction as being his involvement in pro-monarch activities.

The police have arrested Sharma and are now investigating the incident. Nothing has been confirmed about Thakuri's whereabouts.

The FNJ has urged the government to start a search operation for the journalist. The FNJ has also urged for the journalist's safe return.

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