Kathmandu, Sept.1 ANI | 4 months ago

British authorities are reported to funded a four-year-long intelligence operation in Nepal that led to the arrest, torture and killing of Maoist rebels during the country's civil war, says a new book on Kathmandu.

Launched in 2002, "Operation Mustang" targeted Maoist guerillas and saw British intelligence agency MI-6 fund safe houses and provide training in surveillance and counter-insurgency tactics to Nepal's army and spy agency, the National Investigation Department (NID).

Kantipur Online quotes the book's author, Thomas Bell, as saying that "According to senior Nepalese intelligence and army officials involved in the operation, British aid greatly strengthened their performance and led to about 100 arrests."

"It's difficult to put an exact number on it, but certainly some of those who were arrested were tortured and disappeared," he added.

British authorities reportedly helped construct a bug-proof building in the NID headquarters, created a secure radio network for communications and supplied everything from cameras to computers to mobile phones and night vision binoculars, according to Bell's sources in the Nepalese security establishment.

Bell spent about a year interviewing some 20 highly-placed sources to corroborate the details of the operation, and said a senior western official told him the operation was cleared by Britain's Foreign Office.

A British Foreign Office spokeswoman said it could not comment on intelligence matters, and added that the UK does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

Nepal's decade-long civil war left more than 16,000 dead, with rebels and security forces accused of serious human rights violations including killings, rapes, torture and disappearances.

The book titled "Kathmandu" will hit stores in South Asia on Thursday.

(Posted on 01-09-2014)

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