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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Soldiers die in Nepal violence
Two soldiers have died in an encounter with suspected Maoist rebels, Nepalese security officials say.

Nepal demonstrator
Fresh protests erupted in the streets of Kathmandu on Monday (photo: AFP)

Violence and protest have spiralled in Nepal in the past fortnight, after Maoist guerrillas fighting to abolish the monarchy called off a seven-month old ceasefire.

The authorities responded to a string of bomb attacks in the Kathmandu region on Monday by imposing a night curfew on the capital's outlying districts.

About 1,000 people were detained on Monday when they defied a ban on public meetings and marched in protest against Nepal's ruler, King Gyanendra.

King away

The government soldiers were killed on Monday during an operation to flush out left-wing insurgents from a village stronghold in Rolpa district, in western Nepal, officials say.

Few other details are available.

On the political front, the demonstrations against King Gyanendra on Monday were the fourth time protesters have taken to the streets since the ban on public gatherings was imposed on 1 September.

Most of those detained were released shortly afterwards.

Supporters of the five major political parties in Nepal are calling for the King to re-instate the elected government he dismissed in October 2002.

King Gyanendra is out of the country at present.

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