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140 Injured As Clashes Rock Nepalís Capital Email this page
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Kathmandu, April 5 (NNN) : At least 140 people have been injured in clashes in Nepal's capital Kathmandu.
The violence occurred as tens of thousands of demonstrators confronted police on the fourth day of pro-democracy rallies.

The injured include two ex-ministers, several MPs, a 16-year-old boy and a Nepalese television cameraman. In addition to at least six serious rubber-bullet injuries, people have leg, skull and chest wounds.

The protesters are demanding the reinstatement of parliament, suspended by the king a year and a half ago.

The clashes reportedly happened as demonstrators tried to break through a police barricade close to the royal palace of King Gyanendra. The police responded with tear gas and several protesters were reportedly injured by police using batons. Rocks and bricks were also exchanged by both sides.

There were also tense stand-offs in other parts of the city.

A report on the state-run Radio Nepal on Saturday, when scuffles broke out, blamed demonstrators for "resorting to anarchy". The radio report also said many of the clashes were between protesters and local residents, who "arose spontaneously to oppose the agitation".

The demonstrations have been called by several of the country's political parties, who have demanded the king reinstate parliament, dismissed in 2002, and allow an all-party government to be formed. Other protesters simply want the return of some sort of democracy.

The king accuses the pro-democracy opposition of playing into the hands of self-styled Maoist rebels, who control swathes of the countryside and have pledged to bring down the monarchy. Peace talks with the rebels broke down last August, plunging the country back into violent conflict.

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