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Two killed as police open fire on Nepalese protesters in southeastern town

Two killed as police open fire on Nepalese protesters in southeastern town

Two people were killed and 10 wounded when police opened fire on hundreds of protesters attempting to storm a police station in a troubled southeastern Nepalese town on Monday, an official and a doctor said.
Police began shooting into the crowd after failing to disperse the demonstrators by firing tear gas and charging with bamboo batons, said an official on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
The protesters were angry over the killing of a high school student last week in the town of Lahan, 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of the capital Katmandu.
Pashupati Chaudhury, a doctor at Lahan Hospital, said two people had died and at least 10 others were in serious condition with wounds.
Local government administrator Chiranjivi Adhikari said a curfew had been re-imposed after it was lifted Monday morning.
The violence came as the government held an emergency meeting of top political leaders in Katmandu on Monday to discuss the situation.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala met leaders of the seven political parties in the ruling alliance and Maoist rebels who have joined mainstream politics. An official investigation and measures to stop the violence were ordered.
Monday's demonstration at Lahan was to protest the killing of a high school student on Friday when two groups clashed. One group that imposed a general strike fought with another that defied it, leading to gunfire that allegedly killed the male student.
The death fueled protests that led to several vehicles and government buildings being set on fire over the weekend.
The root of the escalating violence in the area has been blamed on division between people living in mountainous areas and those in the southern plains.
People in the plains have long complained of discrimination, saying they have been left out of development and policy-making decisions.
Protests have escalated in the past few months, including street demonstrations, general strikes and government buildings being vandalized.
The violence comes at a time when the peace process to end years of Maoist insurgency in Nepal is taking shape. The rebels entered mainstream politics by joining an interim parliament, and their fighters have begun to hand over weapons to U.N. arms monitors, leaving behind a decade of insurgency.