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|Saturday, June 02, 2001, updated at 12:01(GMT+8)|
Nepal's King, Queen Killed in Shooting at Royal Palace
Crown Prince Dipendra, 30, opened fire and shot all the members of the royal family including King Birendra, Queen Aiswarya and Prince Nirajan, the official said.
According to the source, the shooting was caused by a dispute over the marriage of the prince because his mother, the queen, reportedly objected to his choice of bride.
The crown prince, educated in England, was heir to the throne. Other details were not immediately available.
Nepali People Shocked by King's DeathThe Nepali people are shocked and deeply grieved by the death of King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, who were shot dead Friday night by Crown Prince Dipendra along with around a dozen other members of the royal family at the Narayan Hity Royal Palace in Kathmandu on Friday night.
The shooting happened at 10:40 p.m. local time during the family dinner.
Other members of the royal family shot dead were Prince Nirajan, Princess Shruti and 12 other royal family members.
It is reported that Dipendra, 30, shot the family dead due to disputes over his marriage. Queen Aishwarya is reportedly opposed to Dipendra's choice of bride.
The capital was waken up by the news of the tragedy. Thousands of people began walking towards the royal palace in the heart of the city and are gathering in the main streets of the city to get more news about the incidents. Police cordoned off the outer periphery of the palace.
"I was shocked and grieved by the news of King's death," one Nepali man in the crowd told Xinhua. "I come here to get more information about the tragedy," he added.
The king came to the throne of the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal in 1972 and became the constitutional monarch after he was stripped of power in 1990 through a popular people's movement.
The king and the queen were married in February 1971. Their first child, Dipendra, was born on June 27, 1971.
The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is located in South Asia between China and India.
Though the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Nepal's 90 percent of the nearly 23 million population are Hindu while 5 percent are Buddhist.
Profile: Nepali King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah DevBirendra was educated at St. Joseph's school in Darjeeling in India and at Eton College in England. He also studied in the University of Tokyo in Japan and Harvard in the United States from 1967 to 1968. He went on a study tour through Italy, America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Birendra was declared the heir-apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Nepal by King Mahendra on March 15, 1955 and was Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Nepal Army in 1964, Supreme Commander-in-chief in 1972.
Birendra came to the throne on January 31, 1972, and crowned on February 24, 1975.
The king became the constitutional monarch after he was stripped of power in 1990 through a popular people's movement. He has remained a figurehead much like the queen of England, appearing in ceremonies and addressing the Parliament once a year.
The king and the queen were married in February 1971. Their first child, Dependra, was born on June 27, 1971.
The royal family is revered in Nepal. Some believe that the King is the reincarnation of the Hindu God, Vishnu. King Birendra was dedicated to promoting friendly relations with China and paid ten visits to China in 1966, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1987, 1993, 1996 and 2001.
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