A powerful bomb blast at a poll rally of the ruling Nepali Congress yesterday injured 11 people, including former health minister and election candidate in Kathmandu, police said, days ahead of the last phase of provincial and parliamentary polls.
The police said that 30 suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident which occurred at Chapali area in Budhanilakantha municipality, 10km north of Kathmandu.
The injured, including Nepali Congress candidate Gagan Thapa, were rushed to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
Thapa, a former health minister who is contesting election from the Kathmandu constituency number 4, has been discharged from the hospital. The condition of one of the injured people is said to be critical.
Election campaign for Thursday’s second phase of parliamentary and provincial elections will end at midnight today. The blast occurred three days before the second phase of the provincial and parliamentary elections on December 7.
Around 65% votes were cast on November 26 in the historic first round of elections that many hope will bring the much-needed political stability to the Himalayan nation. Of the total 15.4mn voters, 3.19mn were eligible to cast their votes in the first phase while the rest will exercise their franchise during the second phase.
The elections are being seen as the final step in Nepal’s transition to a federal democracy following a decade-long civil war till 2006 that claimed more
than 16,000 lives.
Poll workers collect ballot boxes and other materials for the upcoming elections in Kathmandu yesterday. Nepal is gearing up for the second phase of its first national elections under the new constitution on December 7.
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