( dpa ) - At least five people including an election candidate were shot dead in two separate incidents in west Nepal, media reports said Tuesday.
In the worst, police shot dead four Maoist-aligned Young Communist League supporters in Dang district, about 400 kilometres west of Kathmandu, independent news channel Avenues Television quoted Maoist district leader Sagar as saying.
The Maoists also said several of their colleagues were missing following the incident.
Police reportedly opened fire to bring the situation under control after violence escalated during clashes between Maoist youths and supporters of Nepali Congress in the town of Lamahi.
The local administration clamped a curfew on two towns in the district following the incident.
In the neighbouring district of Surkhet unidentified gunmen shot dead an election candidate belonging to Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML).
Rishi Prasad Sharma was shot after the assailants attacked his driver with knives near the town of Mainatda.
"This was premeditated attack on a popular leader and is to be condemned," party spokesman Amrit Bohara said. "The government must investigate and bring to justice those involved in the attack."
The two incidents came less than 36 hours before Nepalese cast their ballot to choose a constituent assembly that will rewrite a new constitution and ratify a decision of the parliament to abolish the monarchy.
The campaign leading up to the voting has been the bloodiest in Nepalese history with at least 18 deaths reported in election-related violence.