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Protesters in Nepal Continue to Call for Democracy


Protesters in Nepal have again taken to the streets of the capital to demand the ouster of King Gyanendra.

Demonstrators in Katmandu Saturday chanted slogans against the monarch and called for democracy in the Himalayan nation. Riot police watched but did not interfere.

But in a separate demonstration, baton-wielding police charged journalists who were calling for the end of restrictions on the press. Several journalists were reported to be injured. Witnesses say several people were also detained.

An alliance of Nepal's seven mainstream political parties has rejected an appeal the king made for dialogue and general elections. He did not specify a date for the polling.

Opposition leaders say the king must restore democratic rights and stop violent repression of protests.

Nepal's Maoist rebel leader Prachanda has called on political parties to continue their fight to establish democracy.

At least four people have been killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with security forces during a week of protests across the country. More than 1,000 demonstrators have been jailed.

The king dismissed the elected government and seized absolute power in February of last year, saying the government had failed to control a decade-old Maoist insurgency that has already claimed nearly 13,000 lives.

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

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