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Police Open Fire on Protesters in Southern Nepal, Killing 3

FILE - Nepalese policemen use tear gas to disperse ethnic Madhesi protesters in Gaur, a town about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Kathmandu, Dec.20, 2015.

A government official says police in Nepal have opened fire on protesters who were attempting to disrupt a political rally, killing at least three. Many others on both sides were reportedly injured.

Home Ministry official Bal Krishna Panthi said police first tried to disperse the protesters with bamboo batons and tear gas before firing their guns. He said three people were fatally shot.

Panthi said 33 police officers were injured in the clash, but could not say how protesters were hurt.

The Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) had attempted to hold a rally in Rajbiraj town, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of Kathmandu. Ethnic Madhesi groups from south Nepal oppose the party and have vowed not to allow its rallies.