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Nepal

Police clash with Maoists in Kathmandu

Reuters

Nepali riot police clashed with thousands of Maoists demonstrating outside government buildings in the capital Kathmandu on Sunday, with injuries on both sides.

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Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who gathered to block a complex housing key offices, including the prime minister's, in an attempt to shut down government operations.

Thousands of police were deployed early Sunday to guard the complex after Maoists vowed to continue anti-government protests, despite calling off their general strike on Saturday.

Protesters pelted police with stones Sunday, beat up pedestrians and television cameramen, and set government vehicles on fire.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal wrote to Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as Prachanda, on Sunday to call on his party to join talks to end the political deadlock in the country.

The Maoists, who won the most recent elections and briefly led a coalition government, want the present government to resign.

The unrest comes as Nepal's Constituent Assembly, elected to draw up a new constitution, struggles to draft the charter before its term expires on 28 May.
 

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