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Nepal's Government Lifts Daytime Curfew in Kathmandu


Nepal's royal government has ended a daytime curfew in the capital, Kathmandu, that was imposed to deter anti-monarchy protests.

The government made the announcement Wednesday on state-run media. It said the daytime curfew will be lifted until further notice. It is not clear if daylight restrictions in other areas also have been lifted.

Daytime curfews, some with shoot-on-sight orders, were first imposed Saturday. Since then, security officers have opened fire on demonstrators in several locations. Three people have been killed and hundreds more injured.

Wednesday, witnesses in Kathmandu said at least 25 journalists were arrested for staging a protest against media restrictions.

More than 1,000 people have been jailed since the protests began last Thursday.

The violence has sparked international calls for the king to end his crackdown on the protests.

There was no immediate reaction from the organizers of the nationwide protest against King Gyanendra's absolute rule. Earlier, protesters said they would continue to defy the ban on demonstrations.

Those bans have been in place since last February when the king dismissed the elected government and seized absolute power. He had blamed politicians for failing to control a communist insurgency.

Monday, Washington urged Nepal's king to restore democracy immediately and open a dialogue with the country's constitutional political parties.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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