One killed, dozen hurt in Nepal church blast

May 23rd, 2009 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 23 (IANS) As Nepal Saturday looked forward to an end to a political crisis that has gripped the nation for three weeks with the fall of the Maoist government, fresh violence erupted in Kathmandu Valley with an explosion in a church killing at least one person and injuring nearly a dozen.

The blast occurred at the Assumption Church in Dhobighat in Lalipur district, run by the Nepal Catholic Society.

One person was killed while about 14 are said to have been injured.

No one claimed immediate responsibility.

Last year, a Catholic priest, John Prakash, was killed in Sirsiya town in southern Nepal when gunmen, believed to belong to an underground Hindu militant group, broke into his house and shot him dead.

Though Nepal, once the only Hindu kingdom in the world, officially became secular last year, religious organisations have been clamouring for the reinstatement of Hinduism as the state religion.

The priest’s death was said to be the handiwork of an organisation calling itself the Nepal Defence Army.

The violence comes on a day Nepal will hold an election in the interim parliament to choose a new prime minister to replace the caretaker government of Maoist premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

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