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Nepal's King Promises Parliamentary Vote by 2007

Nepal's King Gyanendra says parliamentary elections will be held by April, 2007.

The king made the announcement in a message to the nation Wednesday, marking the Hindu religious festival of Dasain. He called on the international community to assist in ensuring dignified, free and fair elections.

Nepal's last parliamentary elections were held in 1999.

Many of Nepal's political parties are threatening to boycott the vote, saying elections under the monarch's regime will be "meaningless." The king seized absolute power in February. The parties have been holding frequent protests to demand that Nepal return to democracy.

Meanwhile, in western Nepal, three government soldiers were killed and seven others wounded late Tuesday, after police mistook them for Maoist rebels trying to attack a prison.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.