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Nepalese Troops Fire on Anti-Monarchy Protesters


Witnesses say Nepalese security forces opened fire on anti-monarchy protesters in the western town of Pokhara, wounding several people on the sixth day of anti-monarchy protests.

In the capital, Kathmandu, security forces used tear gas and batons to disperse hundreds of protesters in one of the suburbs. Some 50 people were injured there.

The violence came as international pressure increased on King Gyanendra to end his crackdown on the protests, in which three people have been killed and hundreds wounded.

The street campaign is the most intense since the 58-year-old monarch dismissed the elected government and seized absolute power 14 months ago, saying the politicians failed to control a Maoist rebellion. In the past six days, he has jailed some 800 opposition activists.

Washington on Monday urged Nepal's king to restore democracy immediately and open a dialogue with the country's constitutional political parties.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said the deaths, demonstrations, detentions and rebel attacks in recent days have shown there is more insecurity in Nepal since the king seized absolute power.

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