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Oli defends BIMSTEC joint military exercise

Pratigya Waiju

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KATHMANDU—Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has defended the joint military exercise among the armies of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economical Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member countries as a “friendly gesture” amid growing criticism of the drill from within the party and the opposition.

Oli, however, refrained from revealing whether the decision on the exercise was taken by the government or was the decision of the armies from the seven member states.

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The proposal for the joint military exercise was first proposed by the Indian Army, followed by an initial meeting of BIMSTEC army representatives in June. The Indian government in August announced that it would be hosting the drill and convene a meeting of the chiefs of the army staff on the concluding day.

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2 killed, 5 injured in tractor accident

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HETAUDA — Two persons were killed and five others were seriously injured after a tractor fell off the road last evening at Panchpandav village in Bagmati Rural Municipality-4, Makawanpur.

Police said that 50-year-olds Hem Kumar Shrestha and Bakhat Rai of Hariharpur Rural Municipality in Sindhuli district lost their lives in the fatal accident.

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Shrestha died on the spot while Rai breathed his last on the way to a hospital in Hetauda, police added. The tractor (Na 6 Ta 442) was heading to Sindhuli district from Phawarbari in Makawanpur by supplying construction materials.

Those seriously hurt in the incident are Shivamaya Magar, Shakti Rai, Mohan Rai, Krishna Rai and Tilak Rai. The incident site is near Makawanpur-Sindhuli border along Dharan-Chatara road section.

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