At least four protesters in southern Nepal were fatally shot and ten others injured over the weekend in clashes with police during demonstrations against the country’s new constitution, the BBC reported.
The demonstrators who were killed belonged to Nepal’s Madhesi community, which has strong ethnic ties to India. They claim that the new constitution does not give them adequate representation.
The blockades have paralyzed Nepal, which conducts more than three-fourths of its trade with India. Food prices have increased and stocks of essential commodities, such as medicines for public hospitals, have been almost exhausted. The blockades have also severely hampered recovery in a country struggling to cope with rebuilding after earthquakes earlier this year killed more than 6,000 people.
Authorities said that more than two dozen police personnel were injured and a number of local ambulances attacked in the weekend’s unrest.