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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 06:46 GMT
Nepal opposition leader arrested
Pro-democracy rally in Kathmandu
The opposition has been leading protests against the king
A senior Nepalese opposition leader has been arrested, two days after he was released by the Supreme Court.

Krishna Sitaula, spokesman for the Nepali Congress Party, was arrested from his home on Wednesday. No reason was given for the arrest.

Hundreds of opposition leaders and activists have been arrested in recent weeks. Many of them have been freed.

An alliance of opposition parties has been organising protests to press King Gyanendra to hand back power.

The king, who seized absolute power in February 2005, has come under increasing pressure at home and abroad to restore political freedoms.

Mr Sitaula had been arrested earlier this month for trying to board an airplane at Kathmandu airport during a government crackdown on opposition activities, reports say.

Appeal

He was among a group of politicians who were freed on the orders of the country's Supreme Court on Monday.

Family members of Mr Sitaula told the Associated Press news agency that after the police arrested Mr Sitaula on Wednesday, they found out that he would be detained for three months.

There was no immediate comment from the government.

Mr Sitaula's arrest came after King Gyanendra appeal on Sunday to mainstream opposition political parties in the country to enter into dialogue and promote democracy.

It is the first such appeal from the king since he seized direct control of the country a year ago.

Earlier this month, Nepal's ousted Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was freed from prison, a day after the anti-corruption body that convicted him was outlawed.

Mr Deuba was jailed last July, having been sacked in February by King Gyanendra who seized direct power.




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