Thousands of Nepali citizens protesting the suspension of democratic rule by King Gyanendra were stopped and dispersed Sunday by police using tear gas and batons.
At least a dozen people were injured during the confrontation in downtown Kathmandu. Police detained several political leaders, including former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, and scores of other activists during the rally. The rally, organized by seven main political parties, came a day after Maoist rebels announced a three-month unilateral truce in a bid to gain support from political parties opposed to the king's seizure of power. The Nepali Congress, the country's largest political party, welcomed the Maoist move. Party officials express hope it will lead to permanent peace.