Nepali troops have reportedly opened fire on political activists protesting against King Gyanendra’s rule, killing one man.
Television pictures show a protest in Kathmandu where troops have been enforcing a curfew meant to thwart demonstrations aimed at bringing back parliamentary democracy. The victim shot dead was among protestors in Pokhara, about 200 kilometres west of the capital.
Mainstream political parties began a four-day nationwide general strike on Thursday.
They have formed a loose alliance with Maoist rebels, who have announced an indefinite ceasefire around Kathmandu to help the demonstrations.
Gyanendra says he was forced to seize absolute power in February 2005 because of the growing Maoist insurgency that has killed more than 13,000 people since 1996.