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Nepalese Police Fire on Protesters in Kathmandu

At least 100 people in Nepal's capital have been wounded in clashes with police as more than 100-thousand protesters defied a curfew and shoot-on-sight orders to march against King Gyanendra.

Doctors say most of the injured were hurt by tear gas or in stampedes as they fled Saturday in Kathmandu, but some had bullet wounds.

Police opened fire and used tear gas on waves of protesters marching toward the heavily guarded royal palace. Mobile phone services were also cut as the demonstrations gained momentum.

Earlier today, Nepal's seven-party opposition alliance met and rejected King Gyanendra's plan to restore democracy.

In a national address Friday, the king asked the opposition alliance to name a prime minister, and pledged to restore multi-party democracy as soon as possible.

The parties say they want to elect a constituent assembly and draft a new constitution that would either eliminate the monarchy or make the king a ceremonial figurehead.

King Gyanendra seized absolute control of the government nearly 15 months ago, triggering a political crisis.

Police have killed 13 protesters and wounded scores in recent weeks. Hundreds of others have been detained.

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

 

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