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UK police charge Nepalese colonel with 2 counts of torture during civil war

British police said Friday they have charged a serving colonel in the Nepalese army with two counts of torture allegedly committed during the Himalayan nation's civil war.

Kumar Lama, 46, was arrested Thursday at a residential address in the English town of St. Leonards-on-Sea, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) southeast of London.

Britain's Metropolitan Police said the charges relate to two separate incidents that allegedly occurred between April 15 and May 1, 2005, at the Gorusinghe Army Barracks in Nepal.

Lama is charged with intentionally "inflicting severe pain or suffering" on two separate individuals as a public official — or person acting in official capacity.

He will appear at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, police added.

It was not immediately clear what Lama was doing in Britain. But U.K. authorities claim "universal jurisdiction" over serious offenses such as war crimes, torture, and hostage-taking, meaning such crimes can be prosecuted in Britain regardless of where they occurred.

Thousands died and thousands more were injured or tortured during Nepal's civil war, a decade-long conflict which ended in 2006.