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Nepalese Police Detain Hundreds of Pro-Democracy Protesters

  • VOA News

Riot police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, have clashed with thousands of protesters demonstrating against King Gyanendra's seizure of power last February, detaining hundreds of people.

Witnesses say police fired tear gas and used bamboo canes to disperse small groups of protesters who emerged from narrow alleys, chanting pro-democracy slogans. Many of the demonstrators threw stones and bricks at police. Saturday's protest came a day after the royal government imposed a daytime curfew to stop a mass protest against King Gyanendra who seized power a year ago.

The government says it has banned the rallies to prevent Maoist rebels from inciting violence. But the rebels, who have formed a loose alliance with mainstream political parties in order to restore democracy, said they would not disrupt the protests. Friday, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns condemned the king's crackdown against protesters.

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