KATHMANDU – Hundreds of protesters calling for independence for Tibet protested in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Friday, and police said they took 118 demonstrators into custody for organising anti-China demonstrations.

Many were Tibetan exiles shouting “We want free Tibet” slogans. They burned an effigy of the Chinese President Hu Jintao near a consular office of the Chinese embassy in the Nepali capital.

They were then hauled into police vans and trucks and taken to detention centres. A police official said they would be freed later on Friday.

Tibetans have protested regularly in Nepal since the deadly Chinese crackdown on riots in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet in mid-March.

More than 20,000 Tibetans still live in Nepal since fleeing their homeland after a failed uprising against Beijing in 1959.