Police have detained hundreds of people ahead of a planned nationwide strike against the monarchy in Nepal. The country’s seven main political parties have called the day of action, vowing to defy a ban on protests. Tensions have been running high in Nepal ever since King Gyanendra sacked the government and took power in February 2005.
He condemned the politicians for not doing enough to fight Maoist rebels and organise national elections. The result, however, has been a national and international backlash, with the King finding himself up against a loose alliance formed between the rebels and political groups. The militants have been fighting for a decade to topple the monarchy.
Although they are supporting the nationwide day of action, they are not expected to be present at protests and rallies. Meanwhile, at least 15 people are reported to have been killed when Maoist rebels attacked a town about 350 kilometres south of Kathmandu.