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12 injured in clash outside royal palace

world Updated: May 29, 2008 22:31 IST

PTI
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At least a dozen people including two policemen were injured on Thursday when thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police outside the heavily-guarded royal palace in Kathmandu demanding immediate removal of Nepal's ousted King Gyanendra from his traditional abode.

Lawmakers in Nepal's new constituent assembly overwhelmingly voted to abolish 240-year-old monarchy and transform Nepal into a republic last night.

The demonstrators, mainly youths and students, gathered in front of the main gate of the Naraynhiti palace, shouting anti-King slogans and demanding his ouster from the palace.

Police baton-charged, fired tear gas cells and also opened fire in the air to disperse the demonstrators when they tried to plant a national flag on the gate of the palace.

"We have shown maximum restraint but protesters were trying to enter a prohibited zone," a police official said.
He said at least a dozen people including two policemen were injured in the clashes.

The royal insignia placed in front of the centuries-old Narayanhiti palace was removed around 8.30 am local time.
The angry demonstrators also pelted stones on the security personnel, injurying two of them. Those who sustained injuries were taken to the hospital for treatment, eyewitnesses said.

The government has given 15 days for the sacked King to vacate the palace. The palace was tightly-guarded by security personnel and the riot police were deployed in the area to avoid clashes.

Victory rallies were organised in various parts of the country, including the capital Kathmandu, to celebrate the declaration of republic. People decorated their houses with colourful lights and the government offices were also illuminated.