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Body believed to be of missing French tourist found

media Mélanie Guérin Twitter/DR

A body believed to be that of a 35-year-old French tourist who went missing in Nepal last week has been found, officials said on Friday, as police awaited autopsy results to confirm her identity.

Police began searching for the missing woman after a bag containing her passport, clothes and notebook was discovered near a highway last Friday in Syangja, 153 kilometres west of Kathmandu.

Officers found a decomposed corpse on Thursday after locals alerted the police of a foul smell in the area, said Bir Bahadur Pulami, deputy superintendent of police for Syangja.

“The face had decomposed beyond recognition, but we believe it is the missing person after her friends identified her hair, clothes and jewellery,” the officer said, adding a postmortem will be performed to confirm her identity and the cause of death.

The body has been taken to the capital Kathmandu for an autopsy.

On Wednesday, the French foreign ministry had announced that a French woman had been reported missing in Nepal after she failed to return home on August 12.

Mélanie Guérin, who lives in Nantes, should have caught a flight back after a month in Nepal on 12 August but never arrived home, announcements on social media say.

After staying several days in the town of Pokhora, Guérin checked out of her hotel to take a bus to the village of Lumbini, 180 kilometres away.

She was taking part in the Wwoof scheme, which finds people places to stay in return for work on organic farms.

- with AFP

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