Nepalese ethnic activist groups have unified in protest of the government, as they press for regional autonomy in the southern plains of Nepal.
Three groups Saturday announced the formation of the United Democratic Madhesi Front. They vowed to organize nationwide strikes and protests next week.
The ethnic Madhesis are based in the southern Terai region of Nepal, known as the country's breadbasket. The group often says it is ignored by the Nepalese government and is pushing for greater autonomy and the right to self-determination ahead of elections in April.
There has been a series of bomb attacks in the region, including an explosion at a political rally in Birgunj last month that wounded more than 45 people.
Nepal's ruling party recently agreed to abolish the monarchy and declare the country a republic after the elections - a key demand of the country's former Maoist rebels.