Maoist insurgents clashed with police in the remote western district of Rukum March 11, and eight villagers died in a fire started by the maoists in neighboring Rolpa district. The maoists are becoming increasingly active in advance of general elections scheduled for May 3 and 17, when violence designed to disrupt the vote is possible. It would be prudent to avoid traveling around the country during the elections and to plan your arrival or departure to avoid these dates. Follow local press reports for current information.