Bomb explosion in Kathmandu


Kathmandu : A bomb went off in an upmarket area of the capital Monday afternoon, but there was no injury or damage.

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Kathmandu police told IANS a “socket” bomb went off on the road in the Panipokhari area near the Japanese embassy.

The explosion comes a month after three serial blasts ripped through Kathmandu, killing three women and injuring over two dozen people,

The bomb, that derives its name due to sockets being fused together, is one of the most commonly found explosives in Nepal, especially in the Terai plains in the south.

When the Maoists fought their 10-year war against the government, their guerrillas mass-manufactured such bombs, which often, due to their unstable nature, caused more injuries to the makers.

Socket bombs were used during guerrilla attacks to create panic but cause little damage.

After the end of the Maoist “People’s War” several armed groups and criminal gangs have been using the bomb to ensure a safe getaway or administer a warning.

However, the explosion in a crowded area in broad daylight casts fresh doubts about the Girija Prasad Koirala’s government to improve security for the crucial constituent assembly election that is only 51 days away.

Police are still hinting for the masterminds of the Sep 2 serial blasts that went off in crowded public places, including a bus and a bus stand.

Though police say they have been able to make headway by arresting four people, nine are still at large. There are suspicions that some could have fled to India across the open border.

The absconders include a 12-year-old boy while the four arrested accomplices include a policeman.

Upendra Shah, a 27-year-old policeman, reportedly admitted that he had helped the main plotters because he had been promised a motorcycle for his help.

Police said initially the conspirators had planned to execute the blasts at Singhdurbar, Nepal’s administrative centre where the prime minister’s office, parliament, ministries and key government offices are located.

They had also targeted the Supreme Court and a joint venture bank. However, the plan had to be changed due to the better security at the three buildings.

Though three obscure groups from the plains claimed responsibility for the blasts, it is believed that they were mere catspaws.

Nepal’s parties say the blasts were engineered to create panic and sabotage the November election.

Though home minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula has repeatedly been promising better security, crime and violence have become a way of life in Nepal.

After the Kathmandu explosions, sectarian clashes broke out in Kapilavastu district in the south, resulting in the death of at least 33 people and displacing thousands.

However, two weeks after the carnage, the commission formed to probe it is yet to reach the devastated areas.

Meanwhile, Koirala met the army chief Gen Rukmangad Katuwal Monday.