nepal protest 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Israelis traveling in Nepal are safe, Israel's ambassador in Katmandu, Dan Stav, said Thursday morning.
Stav told Israel Radio that as far as he knew, all the Israeli tourists in the country were "fine," and that tourists have thus far not become involved in the recent violent pro-democracy protests.
During one such protest on Thursday afternoon, Nepalese police opened fire on thousands of people who were marching toward the capital, killing at least two and wounding several more.
Doctors at Model hospital in Katmandu said two people had died and more than 40 were in critical condition, mostly with head injuries, after police fired rubber and live bullets at the protesters.
The Israeli ambassador added that while Nepal was experiencing a fuel shortage, there was no lack of food, and he saw no need to evacuate Israelis from the area.
As tourists in Katmandu continued their treks, soldiers and police patrolled Nepal's capital Thursday to enforce a shoot-on-sight curfew aimed to keep anti-king protesters off the streets, but opposition leaders said they would still hold a planned rally.
District administration officers said the 2 a.m.-8 p.m. curfew was necessary to prevent opposition parties from holding the huge rally, planned for Thursday, to demand that King Gyanendra loosen his grip on power.
Security forces have orders to shoot curfew violators on sight. Diplomats, journalists and human rights monitors have not been issued passes allowing them onto the streets as they have in the past.
However, opposition leaders met on Thursday and decided to go ahead with protest plans.
Krishna Sitaula of the Nepali Congress party said there would be rallies at Katmandu's major entry points, where protesters will try to break through police lines.
No clashes or protests were reported in the city early Thursday, as hundreds of troops patrolled the deserted streets.
A ring road that circles Katmandu - and has been the venue of recent protests to evade a rule banning demonstrations in the city itself - was also empty in the morning.