Nepalese authorities say at least 14 people, including a senior police officer, have been killed in a renewed burst of violence by suspected Maoist rebels.

The authorities say the police officer and his bodyguard were shot dead late Sunday in the town of Butwal, west of the capital, Kathmandu.

Earlier, eight soldiers were killed when the rebels ambushed an army truck on patrol southeast of Kathmandu.

Four other people were killed in overnight attacks on villages in the south.

The latest violence comes a day after the Maoists lifted their crippling road blockade to protest King Gyanendra's assumption of absolute power.

The rebels said they were ending their two-week blockade to show responsibility towards the general public.