Curfew in Nepal after clashes leave 26 dead
A daytime curfew was slapped on a part of southern Nepal on Thursday after at least 26 people were killed and dozens injured in brutal clashes between an ethnic group and Maoists, officials said.
"We have asked for more police officers from the neighbouring district, and they will arrive this afternoon," said Ram Kumar Khanal, police superintendent of Rautahat district about 90 kilometres south of Kathmandu.
"The situation is now under control," he said, adding locals were banned from venturing outside their homes from the morning until mid-afternoon to prevent a repeat of what local media have described as a "bloodbath".
The violence occurred in the town of Gaur, close to the border with India and dominated by the Mahadhesi ethnic group whose activists have been staging a series of violent protests and strikes in recent weeks.
The ethnic group has been pushing for greater representation in national politics in the wake of a peace deal between the Maoists and central government that was signed four months ago.