Nepal's Maoist government on Sunday sacked the country's army chief for failing to comply with orders, a spokesman said, in a move that could trigger a showdown between the prime minister and the military.
The sacking -- three years after the end of the Himalayan nation's civil war -- is the latest episode in a worsening power struggle between the leftist former rebels and their one-time enemies in the army.
"The cabinet meeting today decided to sack army chief Rookmangud Katawal from his post with immediate effect as his clarification for defying the government orders was not satisfactory," spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.
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Image: In this photo taken on January 31, 2009, Nepal's Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal, walks past soldiers during Basant Panchami festival in Katmandu.