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Kathmandu shocked by explosion

Published: Fri 12 Nov 2004 10:53 AM
Kathmandu shocked by explosion
By Indra Adhikari
A powerful explosion at Sundhara in Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Tuesday afternoon has destroyed more than Rs. 30 million worth of property. The building under construction was owned by the Karmachari Sanchayakosh (Government Employees' Provident Fund). The explosion left 38 people – 10 of them working in the construction site and other 28 pedestrians – injured. Few of them returned home after initial medical treatment at Bir Hospital, the oldest government-owned hospital in the country.
According to eyewitnesses, the bomb exploded at around 14:25 hours soon after a group of three people entered the premises. Two of them took the guard Kulman Lama under control and other left the explosive near to the lift machine. The first floor and staircase of the building has been severely damaged. A couple of tempos, a taxi and motorbike being parked nearby were also damaged by the explosion. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the explosion but security forces suspects Maoist rebels to be responsible for the incident. Meanwhile, a statement by the British State Minister for Foreign Affairs, for South Asian office, who was in a three day visit to Nepal since Monday condemned the destruction. He said, "There is absolutely no excuse for terrorist acts of this kind, and I condemn this attack in the strongest terms." Douglas further added that indiscriminate violence of this kind offers no solution to Nepal's present problems. Employees Provident Fund, Human Rights Commission and various other social organization and intellectuals have condemned the explosion.
On the same day, an explosion at the Inland Revenue Office at Bhaktapur, a historical city in the Kathmandu valley injured two officials. The explosions have taken place within a week of arrest of a senior Maoist leader Prashant, in the capital by the security forces. Security officials had claimed that the arrest of Prashant was a severe blow to the rebel network in the capital. Analysts say the Maoists detonated the bomb to indicate that the arrest of Prashant has not derailed their power in the capital.

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