Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maoists Rally in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's former Maoist rebels, waving hammer-and-sickle flags, blocked roads to the capital on Tuesday in protest at the reinstatement of the army chief, the first time they have taken such action since the end of the civil war three years ago.

The Maoist-led government fired the army chief, General Rookmangud Kawatal, in May saying he had refused to take orders. But the move was reversed by the president, prompting the Maoists to quit the government and plunging the country into crisis.

Maoist activists danced on the roads, or sat in front of vehicles, in a protest that may damage the tourism-dependent economy and has raised fears about Nepal's fragile peace.

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