Nepalese politicians say police detained hundreds of protesters across the country Monday as they protested King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power last month.

The Communist Party of Nepal says 500 people were arrested in the eastern city of Janakpur, where the largest demonstration took place. Five political parties vowed to hold protests Monday in defiance of a ban on public demonstrations. Dozens of people were also arrested in Kathmandu.

As the protests took place, Maoist rebels set fire to four buses near Itahari after their leader, Prachanda, ordered stepped up attacks and strikes against King Gyanendra.

The New Delhi-based Asia Center for Human Rights is calling for international intervention in the political crisis in Nepal, saying it could deepen if not resolved soon.

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