Nepal: December 24, 2003


The government released three student leaders detained the week prior for criticizing King Gyanendra for firing an elected prime minister in 2002 and naming a member of the royal family in his place. The day before, Nepali police had fired teargas to disperse hundreds of students demanding their release. Officials said 16 people (including 12 students) were injured in the clashes that began after students stoned and damaged five government vehicles in the capital Kathmandu.

Nepal's military has promised to punish soldiers found guilty of violations and exercise restraint while conducting operations, apparently in response to protests against mounting civilian casualties by international rights groups and the US. 
Meanwhile, a handful of rebels have turned themselves in to government forces. - Adam Geibel


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