Curfew in west Nepal town after violence

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 15:41 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Dozens of demonstrator and police offices were injured in clashes in several parts of southern Nepal Sunday prompting the government to clamp curfew in a regional city in western Nepal.

Government announcement said seven-hour long curfew was being clamped on Nepalgunj, about 400 kilometres west of the Nepalese capital, after violence erupted in the city.

Police said at least six police officers along with about a dozen protestors belonging to United Democratic Madhesi Front were injured in the clashes.

The clashes broke out when the demonstrators tried to lock up a government administration office as part of their campaign to stop all government work.

The area is already reeling from the crippling strike called by UDMF which entered its fifth day Sunday.

Clashes were also reported in other parts of restive southern Nepal where life remained paralysed by the indefinite strike.

In the commercial city of Birgunj, about 90 kilometres south of Kathmandu, police fired tear gas shell and live ammunition into the air to disperse hundreds of demonstrators. Reports said about a dozen protestors were injured.

In Jaleshwore in south-east Nepal, another six policemen and about 12 protestors were injured in clashes.

The rise in violence came a day after the government rejected a key UDMF demand for autonomous state for southern Nepalese plains known as Terai with the right to self determination.

The strike has paralysed normal life across the region cutting off supplies of essential items including food and fuel.

Reports said 23 of Nepal's 75 districts were now shutdown by the strike.

Most parts of the country, including the capital Kathmandu, have nearly run out of petroleum products forcing many public vehicles to stop operations.

Southern Nepal has seen frequent strikes and escalating violence since the end of the communist insurgency in November 2006, resulting in the deaths of more than 140 people.