KATHMANDU, Nepal, March 12 (UPI) -- Nepalese soldiers are accused of raping and fatally shooting a 12-year-old girl and two others inside Bardia National Park Wednesday night, officials say.
The dead have been identified as Devisara, 35, Amrita, 33, and 12-year-old Chandrakala, Nepalnews.com reported Friday.
A group of seven villagers had gone to collect Kaulo, which is the bark of a certain tree, ekabtipur.com reported.
"It was around 9 p.m. when the soldiers arrived firing shots. Five of us managed to escape but they captured the women," Durga Bahadur said. "For two hours or so, we hid in a distance hearing the women scream."
Baldev Giri escaped the soldiers, alleging they chased the men away and raped the victims before killing them. Giri said the Nepalese army's claim of attempting to recover weapons was baseless and an attempt to mask their crime.
"How can I use a gun with a hand like mine?" Giri said, showing a disabled hand. "You have two women and one child dead and the army has some nerve claiming that they shot them dead in self-defense," he said.