Police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, detained at least 16 more activists Monday, who were protesting against King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power.

The protesters defied a ban on demonstrations and gathered near the Central Secretariat building, shouting slogans like "down with autocracy, we want democracy."

Sunday, seven activists - all members of the Nepali Congress party - were arrested after staging a similar protest.

Meanwhile, the Nepalese army said Maoist rebels kidnapped and killed three unarmed soldiers in the eastern Ramechhap district Saturday.

Nepal's king dismissed the government and assumed all powers on February first, saying the government had failed to stop the Maoist insurgency.

Rebels have been fighting nearly a decade to replace Nepal's monarchy with a communist state.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.