National strike over prison death shuts down Nepal

Nepalese police personnel are seen along the roads of Kathmandu during a countrywide strike against the Nepali government and police in Kathmandu December 19, 2011. Protests have been called over the death in prison of a youth leader

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A national strike in Nepal over the death in prison of a youth leader has brought life to a standstill.

Schools and colleges, shops and businesses are closed and roads are deserted.

It was called by the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, after a local leader was reportedly attacked while in prison in southern Nepal.

Analysts say the disruption will further delay efforts to draft a long-awaited new constitution.

Scores of riot police patrolled the streets of the capital Kathmandu on Sunday.

But the strike has been mostly peaceful, although some protesters attacked a few vehicles in Kathmandu and a few other parts of the country, a police spokesman told the Associated Press news agency.

Police detained at least 16 protesters in Kathmandu, he said.

Nepal's civil war ended in 2006 after ten years of fighting between Maoist rebels and government forces, during which more than 13,000 lives were lost.

Last month political parties agreed on a deal that would allow the integration of thousands of former Maoist rebels into the army.

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