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Nepal’s capital gripped by fuel price hike strike

March 19, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Police said they detained dozens of people for torching vehicles and forcing shops to close in Nepal’s capital on Wednesday during a general strike to protest a hike in fuel prices.

The streets in Katmandu were mostly deserted, with schools closed and shops shuttered in response to the strike, which was called by university student groups. Police in riot gear guarded the main streets of the city.

Protesters torched a passenger bus and vandalized taxis defying the strike call, but no one was injured in the attacks, police said.

Police said they detained at least 80 protesters who forced shops to close and attacked vehicles.

The government increased the price of gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel because state-owned Nepal Oil Corp. was in debt. Student groups demanded authorities reverse the decision and met with government officials to talk about the matter.

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