London: Thomas Bell, a journalist who writes on Nepal for The Economist and other publications, has in his new book, "Kathmandu", accused British secret service MI6 of aiding Nepal authorities in the torture of Maoist rebels during the South Asian country’s civil war, a media report said Sunday.
Bell said that Britain funded a four-year intelligence operation in Nepal in 2002 that provided "safe houses", training in surveillance and counter-insurgency tactics to Nepal’s army and spy agency, the National Investigation Department (NID), Press TV reported.
The British agency "also sent a small number of British officers to Nepal, around four or five -- some tied to the embassy, others operating separately", Bell wrote in his book, according to the report.
According to the author, Nepalese authorities were trained in how to place bugs, penetrate rebel networks and groom informers.
"British aid greatly strengthened" NID's performance, which led to dozens of arrests, of which a number of people "were tortured and disappeared", Bell wrote, citing a source.
One of the sources, a Nepalese general with close knowledge of the operation, argued that there was no doubt that British authorities realised that some of those detained would be tortured and killed.
Bell says that a senior Western official told him that the operation was cleared by Britain's Foreign Office.
Nepal's civil war between the government and Maoists lasted between 1996 and 2006.