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Prachanda fears coup in Nepal

world Updated: Jan 18, 2008 22:56 IST
Anirban Roy

The Maoists fear that a Bangladesh-style army-backed coup may derail the ongoing peace process in Nepal. Maoist chief Prachanda said on Friday that as Nepal heads towards the Constituent Assembly election, several forces were out to derail the country's political transformation.



"There is enough indication that a lot of forces in Nepal are now desperate to stage a coup backed by the army," the Maoist chief said, adding that the forceful political takeover could be similar to the one in Bangladesh.



Prachanda said assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan has now raised questions of security of the pro-democracy political leaders in Nepal as well. "There are strong possibilities of assassination attempts in Nepal," he said.



The Maoist chief claimed the bomb blast on January 14 in downtown Kathmandu after the meeting of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) was aimed at his vehicle. Eight people were injured in the explosion.



"My vehicle was only 70 metres away at the time of the blast," Prachanda said, indicating that the pro-monarchist forces could be behind the explosion and coup challenge.