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Bomb blast near Nepal PM residence

Experts diffuse a bomb during a recent spate of attacks by Maoist rebels
Experts diffuse a bomb during a recent spate of attacks by Maoist rebels  


KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- A powerful bomb exploded Wednesday morning near the official residences of Nepal's prime minister and chief justice, police said.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Chief Justice Keshav P. Upadhyay were in their adjacent homes at the time of the blast.

No one was injured in the blast, but some windows were broken at the residences and a crater was left in the ground were the bomb exploded.

Although no group has taken responsibility for the attack, police believe it may be the work of Maoist rebels, who have staged attacks in the capital in recent days.

The bomb went off at 6:30 a.m. (8:45 p.m. EDT Tuesday) outside the gates of the chief justice's residence.

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Police are investigating the attack and have stepped up security in the area.

Abductions

In other developments, Maoist rebels abducted at least 20 police recruits from a remote highway in western Nepal, police said Wednesday.

Rebels blockaded the highway Tuesday connecting the remote Rolpa district with Nepalgunj, a town on Nepal's western borders with India, and forced the police recruits to give themselves up.

Police officials in Nepalgunj said the recruits were taken to an unknown location by the rebels.

In a separate incident, two policemen were killed Tuesday night when Maoist rebels attacked a police post in Baanke district, the Nepalgunj police said. Since the deaths of 10 royal family members June 1, Maoists have increased their attacks against government and business in an attempt to scare away investment and destabilize the country.

The Tuesday bombings targeted an industrial site and a five-star hotel.

Maoists launched their bid to overthrow the country's constitutional monarchy in 1996. Since then 1,600 people have died in the group's violent campaign.






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