Nepalese police fire on protesters

Police have opened fire on a group protesting against the king in a resort town in western Nepal, injuring at least one person, witnesses and police say.

    Security forces are battling a rising tide of protests

    The violence comes as the Himalayan country braces for local elections that government opponents have vowed to interrupt.

     

    Several groups of protesters were on Thursday protesting in Pokhara, a resort town 200km west of Katmandu, when police used tear gas and batons to disperse them.

     

    The police later opened fire, injuring a bystander, according to witnesses. The independent Kantipur radio said police arrested dozens of protesters.

     

    Government officials reached by telephone acknowledged that police opened fire on the protesters but refused to say if anyone was injured.

     

    Police arrested 20 politicians and activists who were getting ready to hold a rally in Nepalgunj, about 500km southwest of Katmandu, said Binod Adhikari, the chief administrative officer in the area.

     

    Abduction

     

    Officials said suspected rebels also abducted a candidate in the neighbouring town of Gulariya. He was taken from his home overnight and has not been heard from since.

     

    Maoist rebels fighting for a socialist state have threatened to take action against anyone who registers as a candidate in next month's municipal elections. Rebels have already been blamed for the assassination of a candidate last week in south Nepal.

     

    Meanwhile, Nepal's one-day registration for municipal elections drew only a trickle of candidates as a general strike by dissidents to protest the polls left the capital nearly deserted.

     

    The country's Maoist rebels and a coalition of the seven top political parties oppose the royalist government's plans for local elections on 8 February, arguing they will

    legitimize King Gyanendra's seizure of direct control over the central government a year ago.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons