Twenty senior Nepali businessmen, diplomats and security professionals in Hong Kong have been named as 'the main enemy' in a hit list that has been linked to Maoist guerillas operating out of Nepal. The list, obtained by the Sunday Morning Post, threatens the 20 Hong Kong residents with physical action including being 'fractured to death'. Senior Hong Kong police officers, security officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned the threat, saying it was of 'grave and serious concern'. The development comes after security patrols around the British consulate and HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong were stepped up following Thursday's bomb attacks on the bank's Turkey headquarters, and the British consulate, in Istanbul, which left 27 people dead and about 450 injured. A high-ranking police source said investigators were treating the matter 'very seriously' amid the force's heightened state of alert. Organised Crime and Triad Bureau detectives launched an investigation into the clandestine rebel organisation after being briefed by the Post about ringleaders and underground fund-raising and recruitment activities in the city. Maoist guerillas have been responsible for hundreds of murders and abductions in the mountainous kingdom in recent years, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee overseas. This is believed to be the first time the rebels have sought to extend the war beyond the borders of Nepal since the insurgency was launched in 1996. About 20,000 Nepalis and their descendants live in Hong Kong. All of the named targets are key figures in the local community. The hit list, released under the letterhead of the All Nepal National Independent Students' Union (Revolutionary) and published on October 8 in the Everest Nepalese Weekly Hong Kong, claims to represent the high commission of 'Special Group Command Kathmandu'. 'Our attention is concentrated on Hong Kong because we are getting more evidence that our comrades are facing many problems,' it says. '... Some people who are working as agents against our peaceful people-war are regarded as our main enemy and listed in [the] hit list.' The document, titled 'Hit List for Hong Kong', names 20 people, including staff of the Royal Nepal Consulate and the Royal Nepal Airlines Corp, the editor of the Nepal newspaper, businessmen and security professionals. It warns they face being 'fractured to death' - understood to be a method of killing involving smashing every bone of the victim. 'I think they are just trying to scare us,' said one of the men named on the hit list, Deoraj Subba, who is a security professional and ex-British Army Gurkha officer.