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Maoists Rally Against Nepal Government in Kathmandu


Tens of thousands of Maoist protesters have taken to the streets of Nepal's capital for one of the biggest anti-government protests in months.

Demonstrators shouting "down with the puppet government" surrounded government headquarters in Kathmandu Thursday, blocking the way into the complex.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds. There are reports that some police and protesters sustained minor injuries.

The anti-government protests began in May after Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal stepped down as prime minister in a dispute with President Ram Baran Yadav.

The Maoists say the president violated the constitution by blocking a decision by Mr. Dahal's government to fire the country's army chief. They say the protests will continue until the army chief resigns and the government is disbanded.

Maoist insurgents fought a 10-year civil war against the government that ended in 2006, when they laid down their arms in exchange for a role in the government and an end to Nepal's constitutional monarchy. More than 13,000 people died during the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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