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Curfew imposed in Nepal town following clashes

The violence erupted when migrants from surrounding areas held a protest, accusing locals of burning vehicles during a general strike.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 14:40 IST

Authorities imposed a curfew in a west Nepal border town on Tuesday following street clashes between rival communities in which several people were injured and several houses set on fire, officials said.

People from surrounding mountainous areas clashed with local people in Nepalgunj, a border town 500 kilometres west of Katmandu, forcing authorities to impose the curfew, government administrative official Krishna Acharya said.

Acharya said the situation was tense and police had been mobilised, but had not been able to control the situation.

The violence erupted on Tuesday when migrants from the surrounding areas held a protest, accusing locals of burning their vehicles during a general strike on Monday.

A fiery verbal exchange quickly turned into street battles, Acharya said.

Communal divisions between people in mountainous regions and those living in the southern plains have a long history in the Himalayan nation.

It is the first time that a curfew has been imposed in Nepal since pro-democracy demonstrations forced King Gyanendra to give up his authoritarian rule and democracy was restored.

First Published: Dec 26, 2006 14:40 IST