Nepalese security forces say they have arrested nearly 200 people during a dawn-to-dusk curfew in Kathmandu.
Police kept a close watch on the capital as arrests were made
The curfew prevented planned pro-democracy demonstrations against King Gyanendra, who seized absolute power in the Himalayan state last year.
The capital's streets were deserted amid an eerie calm, reports said.
Meanwhile, two people were killed and three injured during a Maoist rebel attack on police posts in the western town of Nepalganj, authorities said.
Thousands of people thronged Kathmandu's streets to buy provisions when the day-long curfew was briefly lifted.
Friday's curfew ran from 0800 until 1800 local time. A recently imposed night-time curfew, that starts at 2300 hours, is also in effect.
Thousands of soldiers and policemen are patrolling Kathmandu and its suburbs.
People went to work early to avoid the curfew, but attendance in offices was thin.
"This curfew is wrong," Kathmandu-based trader Umanath Gilal told Reuters news agency.
"We can't do our business and earn a living. I won't be participating in the protests but I support the protesters."
The opposition says demonstrations in Kathmandu are now planned for Saturday, despite an indefinite ban on rallies.
Two of Nepal's most senior opposition leaders, Girija Prasad Koirala and Madhav Kumar Nepal, were put under house arrest during the curfew, along with a number of their colleagues.
Mr Nepal's deputy, KP Oli, told the BBC the curfew had helped the opposition's cause.
Mobile services remain cut off throughout Kathmandu
"The government has disrupted the normal life of the people. Yes, we could not protest as we wanted to. But in one way, the protest has been successful," he said.
The restrictions - the latest in a series of stringent measures by the authorities - follow rebel attacks last weekend in which 12 policemen were killed in Kathmandu.
On Thursday, more than 100 opposition supporters and human rights activists were arrested in raids across Kathmandu, while telephone connections were cut off. Mobile phone services have still not been restored.
The opposition wants its supporters to boycott local elections next month, which it says are undemocratic and aimed at entrenching King Gyanendra's rule.
Britain and the US strongly condemned the arrests.
"I call on the king urgently to release those arrested, and to find ways to resume dialogue with the political parties," junior Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said in a statement.
Nepal's authorities banned Friday's rally, saying they had information that Maoist rebels were planning to infiltrate it and incite violence.
The government has banned all protest rallies indefinitely
The rebels have denied any such plans.
There has been an upsurge in violence since the Maoists abandoned a four-month unilateral truce earlier this month.
More than 12,000 people have died in Nepal since the Maoists began their fight for a communist republic 10 years ago.