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Bombs rock Kathmandu

Security forces are on alert ahead of a nationwide strike called by Maoist rebels for September 18.
Security forces are on alert ahead of a nationwide strike called by Maoist rebels for September 18.

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KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- A series of bomb explosions Monday rocked Nepal's capital of Kathmandu, killing at least one person and wounding half a dozen more, police said.

According to authorities, a student was killed when he was hit by shrapnel near the headquarters of the government's commercial bank in the Baluwatar neighborhood.

At least six people were injured when crude home-made bombs exploded at busy thoroughfares in the Kalanki, Baneshwar, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur areas, an officer at police headquarters said.

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, police have blamed past bombings on Maoist rebels, who have been fighting since early 1996 to turn this Himalayan Kingdom into a communist republic.

More than 8,000 people have died in the violence

Following the explosions, the streets of Kathmandu were swamped with security personnel.

Armored vehicles were stationed at strategic locations to protect government installations, and soldiers and paramilitary forces were patrolling the streets.

Protests

The heightened security is also aimed at foiling anti-government protests by five major political parties who have been waging daily protests since September 4.

The parties are demanding that King Gyanendra fire the incumbent royally-appointed government and call political parties to form an all-party government.

In London for a medical checkup, Gyanendra is expected to return by this weekend.

The protests follow nearly a year of wrangling with the King, who last year in October sacked an elected government and appointed a hand-picked one.


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