Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bomb Injures More Than 30 in Kathmandu, Nepal

More than 30 people have been injured in a bomb blast in Nepal's capital Kathmandu. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion has fallen on the country's Maoist rebels.

Officials say three men entered a building complex still under construction in Nepal's capital, planted a bomb and then left.

Minutes later, the bomb exploded, injuring scores of nearby construction workers and pedestrians.

Officials say they suspect the men are members of Nepal's Maoist insurgency, which has been fighting to overturn the country's monarchy since 1996.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting and violence, mostly in the countryside. But in recent months, the Maoists have also threatened the capital, planting small bombs and once blockading it for several days. Yuvraj Ghimre, editor Nepal's weekly news magazine, Samay, says the Maoists changed tactics to increase fear.

"It doesn't prove that their strength has gone up, but it will certainly create a sense of terror among the ordinary people," he said.

Formal peace talk between the government and the Maoists collapsed more than a year ago. But the two sides agreed to and honored a 10 day ceasefire in October coinciding with a religious festival, suggesting that they are capable of negotiations. But Mr. Ghimre says, at the moment, neither side seems interested in peace talks.

"Both sides are saying that they want a negotiated settlement to the problem," he explained. "But no side has come forward to substantiate their public plea through action. They haven't come forward for any peace dialogue."

Nepal's situation is complicated by political turmoil in the capital, putting King Gyanendra at odds with numerous opposition parties. The king has pledged to hold parliamentary elections in April next year, but it remains unclear whether he will keep his promise.