Riot police detain a student activist during a demonstration against King Gyanendra in Katmandu

Nepalese soldiers have rescued about 600 students who had been abducted by Maoist rebels in western Nepal.

In the past, Maoists have taken and later released groups of students to attempt to indoctrinate them with revolutionary ideology. Nepalese and international rights groups have repeatedly appealed to the rebels to end the practice to protect students from violence.

Also in western Nepal, several agencies Sunday suspended relief work because of rebel attacks upon their workers.

In the capital, Katmandu, police arrested dozens of students who staged a pro-democracy rally Sunday in defiance of a ban on demonstrations.

King Gyanendra suspended civil liberties in February by declaring a state of emergency. He lifted the rule last month, but has retained much of his power.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.