UN aid office shut down in Nepal after bombing | india | Hindustan Times
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UN aid office shut down in Nepal after bombing

Two bombs were thrown at the World Food Program office in Damak, about 500 kilometers southeast of the capital Kathmandu.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 12:30 IST

The United Nations has condemned the bombing of a World Food Program office in eastern Nepal responsible for distributing food aid to thousands of Bhutanese refugees.

Two bombs were thrown at the office in Damak, about 500 kilometers southeast of the capital Kathmandu on Thursday.

No staff members were injured by the blasts, which caused some damage to the building. The office remained closed on Friday.

"The UN strongly condemns the attack which violates international humanitarian law and the UN basic operating guidelines," UN said in a statement.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but police blamed Maoist rebels for the attacks, which also targeted two government offices and a government-run bank in Damak.

Police official Yuv Narayan Vaidhya said on the telephone that they were searching for the attackers.

The rebels have not made any comment, but they have previously pledged not to attack UN offices or personnel.

The WFP office at Damak has been working to distribute food aid to estimated 105,000 Bhutanese refugees who have been living in UN-run camps in eastern Nepal since they were forced to flee Bhutan.

Most of the refugees fled Bhutan in the late 1980s, when Bhutan's government—dominated by the ethnic majority Drukpa group—accused the minority Lothsampas of being illegal immigrants.

Relations between Nepal and Bhutan have been strained by the refugee issue. The two small Himalayan kingdoms have held a series of talks, but there has been no breakthrough.