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Powerful Bomb Wounds 36 in Kathmandu

A powerful bomb planted by suspected Maoists exploded in a government office block in Kathmandu on Tuesday, injuring 36 people and shattering a six-week calm in the Nepalese capital, police said. The blast occurred on the ground floor of the newly built Civil Servants Provident Fund Office near the army headquarters, a police official said. “Suspected Maoists left a bag packed with a powerful locally made bomb which went off, injuring some workers … and some pedestrians waiting outside for three-wheeler autorickshaws,” the official said. The explosion, which was heard some two kilometres away, shattered windows in the building and damaged rickshaws and a motor cycle outside. The new office block, built at a cost of more than 60 million rupees (815,000 dollars), has not yet been occupied. New tenants were waiting until after the Hindu Diwali festival this weekend before moving in. Deputy Inspector General of Police Ashok Shrestha said 36 people had been injured but most have been discharged after hospital treatment. The force of the blast shattered window panes and sent steel window frames hurtling onto the street below, witnesses said. The five-storey building was on the verge of completion before the bomb exploded. Maoist rebels have been fighting for a communist republic in Nepal since 1996 and the uprising has already claimed more than 10,000 lives. The rebels and government forces declared a nine-day truce during the Hindu kingdom’s biggest religious festival, Dassain, last month. The bombing marks the first attack in Kathmandu since the end of the truce.Full Story

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