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Students Clash with Police in Nepal, Maoists Release 18 Soldiers and Police

Police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, have used batons to disperse a student protest against King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power on February 1.

Witnesses say students retaliated by throwing stones at police. At least six demonstrators were injured and several others detained during Tuesday's protest.

In a separate development, Maoist rebels have released to the International Committee of the Red Cross 18 police and soldiers captured during a gunbattle in eastern Nepal in June.

The Red Cross said in a statement the six soldiers and 12 police were handed over Monday.

The Maoists have been fighting since 1996 to replace the constitutional monarchy in the world's only Hindu kingdom with a communist state. So far, the insurgency has claimed more than 11,000 lives.

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