Last king of Nepal suffers heart attack

AP News
Posted: Sep 21, 2014 11:22 AM
Last king of Nepal suffers heart attack

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The last king of Nepal is in stable condition in a hospital after suffering a heart attack, doctors said Sunday.

Gyanendra Shah was brought to the hospital Saturday night, and was recovering in the intensive care unit and was out of danger, said Dr. Bharat Rawat at the Norvic Hospital in Katmandu.

Hundreds of his supporters crowded the hospital Sunday. Security was tightened around the hospital in the center of Katmandu.

Gyanendra was the last king to rule Nepal before the Constituent Assembly abolished the centuries-old monarchy and turned the country into a republic. He remains in Nepal as a common citizen with no powers, but is provided security by the government.

He was crowned as king in 2001 after the killing of his elder brother Birendra in a palace massacre but remained mostly unpopular. Mass demonstrations forced him to give up his authoritarian rule.

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Many people believe that Gyanendra was involved in the massacre of Birendra and nine other royal family members. An investigation blamed Birendra's son Dipendra, who was among the dead, for the massacre.

He has maintained a low profile with occasional public appearances. Despite his unpopularity, he still has tens of thousands of supporters who want the monarchy reinstated.