Security forces in Nepal have fatally shot at least three more anti-monarchy protesters, as tens of thousands of people gathered on the edge of the shoot-on-sight curfew zone around the capital, Kathmandu.

Thursday's deaths bring to 13 the number of people killed during 15 straight days of protest rallies, called to denounce King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power last year.

Witnesses say the troops opened fire on a large crowd of protesters Thursday in Kalanki, on Kathmandu's western edge. They also fired tear gas shells. Some 37 people were wounded.

The VOA correspondent in Nepal says the protesters on the edge of the capital marched toward a line of police, trying to push into the center of the city.

The opposition continued the protests despite an 18-hour ban on all movements in and around Kathmandu which ends at 8 p.m. local time (14:15 Universal Time).

King Gyanendra dismissed Nepal's elected government 14 months ago, saying the officials then in power had not been able to control Maoist rebels who now have joined hands with the main political parties.

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