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Violence flares ahead of Nepal election

KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) — A candidate in Nepal’s upcoming elections was shot and killed little more than a day before voters go to the polls, authorities said Wednesday. Six other leftist activists were killed elsewhere in the country, police said.

Rishi Prasad Sharma, a communist candidate for the assembly that will rewrite Nepal’s constitution, died at a hospital after being shot in Surkhet, about 250 miles (400 km) west of Kathmandu, district officer Alil Kumar Pandey told CNN.

Sharma was shot at about 8 p.m. local time Tuesday, roughly 36 hours before the elections are set to begin.

About two hours later, government officials say, police shot and killed six members of a Maoist political party in the city of Dang — about 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Kathmandu.

The circumstances of those shootings were not immediately clear, though government officials said the police shot after the party members were involved in some kind of disturbance.

The deaths bring to at least 20 the number of people killed in election-related violence in Nepal.

The election will decide the makeup of Nepal’s 497-member constituent assembly. The assembly will decide the fate of the country’s monarchy and prepare a new constitution.

The 239-year-old monarchy has been virtually suspended since King Gyanendra was forced to give up powers in April 2006 after a popular uprising across the country against his direct rule.

The government imposed a curfew in Surkhet after the violence.
Violence flares ahead of Nepal election – found here.

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April 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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