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Curfew after deadly Nepal mosque bombing

world Updated: Mar 30, 2008 08:52 IST

Nepalese authorities clamped an indefinite curfew on a southern town after a bomb attack on a mosque killed two people and sparked violent reprisals, police have said.

Three blasts hit the mosque in Biratnagar, 220 Km south-east of Kathmandu on Saturday, heightening tensions in the volatile region ahead of key elections next month.

"Three small bombs went off inside the mosque killing two people," senior police officer Bidhyananda Majhi told AFP by telephone.

"Muslim people started to come into the street and attacked vehicles so we have imposed a curfew to avoid communal violence," he added.

Large numbers of extra police have been mobilised to enforce the curfew, senior official Madhav Prasad Regmi told AFP.

"Nobody has yet claimed responsibility, and police are investigating the incident," chief local official Madhav Prasad Regmi told AFP.

A reporter with the Kantipur media group said worshippers were praying inside the mosque when the bombs went off.

"There was panic in the neighbourhood after the explosions, but with the curfew, things are now quiet," Bhim Ghimire said.

Nepal is due to go to the polls in less than two weeks to elect a body that that will change the country's history by formally abolishing the world's last Hindu monarchy and rewriting the constitution.