Three children died and five people were injured when a crude bomb apparently left by communist rebels exploded in a village in western Nepal, security officials said on Saturday.
The children were killed instantly when the homemade bomb exploded on Friday at a house in Basouti village, about 500 kilometers west of the capital Katmandu, said security officials in Dhangadhi, the main town in the area.
Of the five hurt in the blast, two are critically injured and have been rushed to a hospital, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media. The others are receiving treatment at a clinic in nearby Hasulia village.
They said police are probing the explosion but that initial investigations indicated Maoist rebels have been training and sheltering in the jungles nearby.
The officials said the children may have found the bomb in the jungle and taken it back home, but did not rule out that it may have been planted in the house.
The chief military official in the area, Brig Gen Dipak Gurung, said the bomb was likely left by the rebels because government troops did not use that type of explosives.
Rebel commander Lekhraj Bhatta said by telephone he has ordered an immediate probe into the incident.