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Maoists targeted by police over blasts amid Nepal general strike

  • Published at 07:32 pm May 27th, 2019
Nepal-Bomb blast
A member of bomb disposal team smiles as he walks back carrying an improvised explosive devise after defusing it in Lalitpur, Nepal May 27, 2019 Reuters

Police said at least 13 officials from the Maoist group had been arrested on Sunday night and early Monday in different parts of the country

Nepalese police arrested suspected Maoist activists after three deadly bomb blasts in Kathmandu as a general strike disrupted daily life in much of the South Asian nation on Monday, police said.

Amid a high alert after Sunday's attacks, which were blamed on an outlawed Maoist group, police blew up several suspicious packages.

The group broke away from the country's main communist party, which is now in power, and called the general strike to protest against the death of one of its leaders in police custody.

Police said at least 13 officials from the Maoist group had been arrested on Sunday night and early Monday in different parts of the country.

"Security agencies dealt with suspicious objects found in different areas, mostly outside the capital," said police spokesman Bishwa Raj Pokharel.

While some schools and offices remained closed in Kathmandu, "the effect of the general strike is nominal in the Kathmandu valley but very few vehicles are working outside the capital," the spokesman added. 

Four men were killed and seven people injured in three explosions in Kathmandu on Sunday.

A blast inside a shop killed three people, one died in an explosion at a nearby house, whilst two men carrying explosives on a motorbike were amongs those injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police said they suspected the Maoist group whose pamphlets were found in a house where one of the explosions took place.

Nepal has enjoyed relative calm since the end of a decade-long civil war in 2006. But some former guerrillas have formed a new group accusing their former leaders of betraying their revolutionary cause.

The group was banned after it was implicated in an explosion that killed one person outside a telecom company office in February.