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Nepal's Government Extends Daytime Curfew

  • VOA News

Nepal's royal government has extended a daytime curfew following a day of violent protests that left one demonstrator dead.

Witnesses say security forces opened fire on activists protesting against King Gyanendra's absolute rule on Saturday in the resort town of Pokhara, about 200 kilometers west of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

Nepal's main political parties planned more mass demonstrations on Sunday.

In response, the government broadcast the extended curfew notice on state-run television on Saturday, warning that security officers in the capital would shoot anyone who violates the new 13-hour daytime curfew in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.

The political parties called a four-day general strike that began Thursday. More than 750 people have been detained since the protests began.

The United Nations and several countries, including the United States, have urged the king to release the detained activists.

Elsewhere in Nepal, officials say nine Maoist rebels and three security officers were killed in overnight clashes in two southwest towns 300 kilometers from the capital.

Authorities say rebels attacked security bases in Taulihawa and nearby Butwal.

King Gyanendra dismissed the government and seized absolute power in February of last year. He said he had to act because the previous government failed to stop the nearly decade-long Maoist insurgency.

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