Sporadic violence in Nepal as election nears
Kathmandu: Army units recovered and defused bombs in various parts of Nepal while at least eight vehicles were damaged by suspected Maoist cadres during a transport strike called on Tuesday by parties opposing the upcoming Constituent Assembly polls.
An army bomb disposal team defused an improvised electric device (IED) planted merely 100 m away from a dais from which UCPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda and former premier Baburam Bhattarai were scheduled to address an election rally at Kanchanpur in western Nepal, said Superintendent of Police Rajendra Prasad Chaudhary.
A 45-year-old man was injured when a petrol bomb was hurled into a bus heading towards Kathmandu`s Tribhuvan International Airport, the Himalayan Times newspaper reported.
Another bus carrying 40 passengers was burnt in Chitawan district of southern Nepal though no one was injured, police said.
Bomb and suspicious objects were found in different places all through the day, including Mahottari and Dhading districts.
An army unit defused an IED in Dhading after tourists spotted the bomb and a cooking gas cylinder placed near it. A pipe bomb was found at a market in Baglung district last night.
A car parked near a school in Gongabn area was attacked with a petrol bomb by activists enforcing the strike.
Police also rounded up at least two dozen people involved in vandalism and arson during the strike.
A 33-party alliance, headed by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, a breakaway faction of UCPN-M, is boycotting the November 19 vote. This is Nepal`s second national election since a 10-year civil war ended in 2006.
Police have arrested more than 100 demonstrators since yesterday and officials said more pre-emptive arrests could be made in the coming days.
More than 100 parties, including the three major ones - the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), the Nepali Congress and the Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, are fielding candidates for the 601-seat assembly, which will draft a new Constitution.
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