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Nepal strike

Kathmandu, Nov 12 (Reuters): A general strike called by Maoist rebels to protest against King Gyanendra's decision last month to dismiss Nepal's elected government paralysed the scenic Himalayan nation for a second day today.

Most shops were closed, schools and factories remained shut and the winding streets of the ancient capital, Kathmandu, were deserted as residents stayed home, fearing reprisals by militants if they failed to obey the three-day strike call.

Strike calls by the rebels, who have a presence in all parts of the country but are particularly strong in rural areas, are normally heeded because the guerrillas have in the past staged revenge attacks against those who disobey.

A police official told Reuters no major violent incidents had been reported today in the impoverished kingdom where the rebels have been waging an increasingly deadly battle to topple the constitutional monarchy and install a communist republic.

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