Nepal's King and Queen Slain in Palace Shooting

Date 2001/5/31 23:49:02 | Topic: Hindu Press International


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KATMANDU, NEPAL, June 1, 2001: Nepal's crown prince opened fire in the royal palace of this tiny Himalayan nation on Friday, killing the king, queen, his brother and sister before turning the gun on himself, a senior military official said. Four others died in the shooting, which apparently stemmed from a dispute over his choice of a bride. The official said Crown Prince Dipendra, 30, killed his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya, his younger brother, Prince Nirajan, and his sister, Princess Shruti. The princess is married and has two daughters. According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the shooting was prompted by a dispute over the crown prince's marriage because his mother, the queen, reportedly objected to his choice of a bride. No other details were immediately available. The crown prince, educated at Britain's Eton College, was heir to the throne. A helicopter was sent to Chitwan, 75 miles southwest of Katmandu, to pick up Prince Gyanendra, the King's younger brother, according to sources at the airport. Prince Gyanendra, who is next in line to the throne, was expected to succeed King Birendra. The government was expected to make a formal announcement only after the king's brother replaces him. Katmandu, the capital of 1.5 million, woke up Saturday to news of the shootings. Hundreds of people began walking toward the royal palace in the heart of the city. Police cordoned off the outer periphery of the building.







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