- Title: NEPAL: Fresh protests erupt in Nepal against king's rule.
- Date: 7th April 2006
- Summary: (BN08)PATAN CITY, NEPAL (APRIL 7, 2006) (REUTERS) STUDENTS CHANTING ANTI-MONARCHY SLOGANS AS THEY STAND AROUND A BURNING TYRE STUDENTS CARRYING A CEMENT PIPE TO MAKESHIFT BARRICADE STUDENTS SHOUTING SLOGANS BEHIND BARRICADE VARIOUS OF POLICE VAN BEING HIT BY BRICKBATS VARIOUS OF POLICE FIRING TEAR GAS SHELLS BURNING TEAR GAS SHELL NOT YET EXPLODED ON GROUND POLICE CHARGING WITH TEAR GAS GUNS TEAR GAS SHELL LANDING NEAR PATAN GATE
- Embargoed: 22nd April 2006 13:00
- Location: Nepal
- Country: Nepal
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAC1Z88Y2X4Q824Z0KP2WRA5BUA
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Hundreds of anti-king protesters took to the streets of Nepal on Friday (April 7), burning tyres, hurling stones at police and chanting pro-democracy slogans, as a four-day nationwide general strike entered its second day.
The strike and protests have been called by the Himalayan kingdom's seven main political parties in what they hope will be a definitive campaign against King Gyanendra, who sacked the government and grabbed control of the nation last year.
Riot police fired tear gas shells at protesters in Patan city in the capital region, where the government has banned protests.
Protesters also set fire to a post office, which was doused. Tyres were thrown on the road and set on fire at one place. Demonstrators in other parts of the Kathmandu valley dispersed peacefully but promised to return later in the day.
"Vacate Narayanhiti, Democratic Republic is arriving," some activists shouted, referring to the royal palace in Kathmandu.
"We want Democracy", "Down with Gyanendra", "Gyanendra leave the country", others chanted while some student activists whistled and taunted riot police.
Scores of riot police dressed in blue camouflage and armed with batons, rifles and tear gas guns charged at the protesters who pelted them with rocks.
Although pro-democracy protests have become routine since King Gyanendra took power in February 2005, political parties say the latest demonstrations will be the largest so far and hope they will be decisive in bringing democracy back.
One student leader said the protests will go on indefinitely and he was ready to "face the bullets of the police".
The latest campaign is backed by Nepal's Maoist insurgents, who have been waging a bloody battle since 1996 to topple the monarchy and establish communist rule.
But the rebels are not taking part in the protests and have announced an indefinite ceasefire in the Kathmandu region to help the political demonstrations.
The main rally is due in Kathmandu on Saturday, April 8, the day multi-party democracy was established 16 years ago.
The royalist government says it does not trust the guerrillas and has thrown a security blanket over the hill-ringed capital of 1.5 million people, including stationing armoured vehicles on some main streets.
More than 13,000 people have been killed as a result of the Maoist revolt, and the economy of one of the 10 poorest countries in the world is wrecked and thousands of people have been forced to flee the fighting in the countryside, largely controlled by the rebels.
The king justified his takeover saying political parties had failed to crush the Maoists and hold elections.
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