DARJEELING, India, March 11, Reuter: Suspected Gurkha militants enforcing a 40day general strike hacked to death a teenager with a kukri knife in northeast India on Friday, a government official said.

The militants from the Gurkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) attacked a youth hostel which had stayed open in the Himalayan Hill resort of Darjeeling, District Magistrate Debi Prasad Patra said.

Eight GNLF supporters appeared at the hostel on Thursday evening demanding it turned away three foreign tourists and closed.

They returned early on Friday and after injuring three hostel workers killed the manager’s 18yearold son who was on holidays from his school in Calcutta.

The strike called by the GNLF as part of its campaign for an autonomous Gurkha region in the hills around Darjeeling has completely closed down the town.

The only public transport is provided by a few government buses operating on alternate days under armed escort, while the bazaars remain shuttered and food in short supply.

On Thursday, two small bombs exploded outside schools where examinations were due to start, frightening many students away.

Up to 900 suspected Gurkha activists have been arrested since the strike began on February 10 and the GNLF says dozens have been killed.

Political efforts to find a solution are stalemated with neither the West Bengal government nor the GNLF willing to compromise on Gurkha demands for a larger area to be included in a proposed hill council.

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