Nepal protests leave dozens injured

Thousands of protesters who poured into the center Nepal's capital were swung by police batons and fired tear gas at on Monday to demand the restoration of democracy in this Himalayan kingdom.

At least a dozen demonstrators were injured, and police detained two dozen others Monday, a day after they used similar tactics against demonstrators in the same part of Katmandu.

The protesters, organized by an alliance of seven major political parties, broke through a line of police, who beat them with bamboo canes and fired several rounds of tear gas and entered Katmandu's main market area, where the royal government has banned demonstrations.

The protesters marched into the market area from four different side streets.

After Sunday's rally, police detained about six dozen prominent activists. They had all been released by Monday morning.

The political parties who organized the protests have vowed not to let the arrests deter them from fighting to restore democracy in Nepal, where constitutional monarch King Gyanendra seized absolute rule on Feb. 1.

"We will continue our campaign to restore democracy despite the government crackdown," Ram Sharan Mahat of Nepali Congress, the country's largest political party, said Monday.

Protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets to demand the restoration of democracy in Nepal. Gyanendra said he was compelled to assume absolute power to quell a communist insurgency that has claimed more than 11,500 lives in nine years.

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