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Nepal Arrests 50 Protesters, Frees 20 Political Detainees

  • VOA News

Nepalese security forces have detained more than 50 people who were protesting abuse at the hands of Maoists and demanding food and shelter from the royalist government. Witnesses say the victims of the ongoing conflict between the Nepalese army and Maoist insurgents were arrested as soon as they tried to stage a protest march in a restricted area near the royal palace in the capital, Kathmandu The arrests came Thursday as Nepalese authorities freed at least 20 politicians detained during a crackdown on political opponents. They were among hundreds of students, politicians and activists who were detained following King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power on February first. The king has said he acted because the government failed to put down the Maoist insurgency that has claimed more than 11-thousand lives since 1996. The Maoists are fighting to replace the constitutional monarchy with a communist state.
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