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The BBC's Jill McGivering in Nepal
"There's little that the Nepalese people can do but pray"
 real 56k

Former Nepalese PM Krishna Prasad Bhattarai
"The mood on the streets is rather nasty"
 real 56k

The BBC's Daniel Lak in Nepal
"The clashes with the police broke out after the coronation procession"
 real 56k

Monday, 4 June, 2001, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
New king crowned in Nepal
King Gyanendra, the late Prince Nirajan and the late King Dipendra
Gyanendra (left) takes over from Dipendra (right)
Prince Gyanendra has been crowned King of Nepal, the country's third monarch in four days, after his brother King Birendra and most of the royal family were killed in a palace massacre on Friday.

Within hours, police were reported to have fired tear gas to break up demonstrations near the royal palace in the capital, Kathmandu.

Now that the situation has changed, we will make an investigation into the incident and urgently let the beloved citizens know the outcome

King Gyanendra
The BBC's correspondent Daniel Lak says angry crowds are out in the streets of the city, some denouncing the new king and others supporting him.

Early on Monday, the slain king's son, Dipendra - who had been declared king on Saturday - died of injuries sustained during the attack.

In his first address as monarch, King Gyanendra promised to investigate the circumstances of the killings, which left at least eight members of the royal family dead.

"The facts could not be made public in yesterday's statement due to legal and constitutional hurdles. I will make the facts of the incident public after an investigation," King Gyanendra said.

Blame for the murders was initially placed on Dipendra, who was said to have shot his father, mother and other family members following a dispute over his choice of bride.

King Birendra is cremated
The funeral of the other royals took place on Saturday
This account was later denied, with an official statement speaking only of the sudden discharge of the weapon inside the royal palace.

Our correspondent says the absence of firm official information has led many people in Nepal to believe that the royal family fell victim to a conspiracy.

He says it is a tense time in the country. Army soldiers armed with machine guns were out in the streets even as the coronation of a new king was being observed

Different theories

On Sunday, officials denied earlier and persistent reports that it was Dipendra who opened fire, describing the incident as an accident.

Many of those protesting in the streets of the capital on Monday believe neither that the killings were and accident, not that Dipendra did the shooting.

Prince Gyanendra
Gyanandra: From prince to regent to king in four days
They are yelling slogans against the new king and his son, Paras Shah, and saying somehow they may have been involved in the massacre.

Other conspiracy theories involve India and, according to Nepal's militant Maoist groups, unnamed international forces.

In response to the crisis, the ruling Nepali Congress party's central committee has called an emergency meeting, due to take place on Monday.


An official statement released on Sunday said King Birendra and the others died when an automatic weapon was suddenly discharged inside the royal palace in Kathmandu.

There was no reference to who was holding the weapon when it went off.

Nepalese mourner
The people of Nepal are shocked and confused
Grief and anger over the killings spilled out into the streets on Sunday.

Mourners had spent the day in largely peaceful expressions of grief, but about 50 young men burned newspapers in the main shopping district and chanted slogans against the press for daring to suggest that the Dipendra king might be guilty of murder.

BBC News Online has received many e-mails expressing grief and disbelief.

"I just do not believe whoever blamed our Prince Dipendra for killing his parents and other royal members. He can do anything but not this," said one from Nepal.

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See also:

03 Jun 01 | South Asia
Nepal left guessing on royal killings
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
Nepal royal assassin named king
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
Nepal mourns slain king
03 Jun 01 | South Asia
Confusion reigns in Nepal
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