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The BBC's Jill McGivering
"First reports from the capital said the chief Justice may himself have been the target"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Bomb shakes Nepalese capital
Police in Kathmandu
Security forces have been on high alert in Nepal
A bomb has exploded in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, near the official residence of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala.

Girija Prasad Koirala
Girija Prasad Koirala: Bomb was almost next door
There are no reports of casualties or major damage in the blast, which the authorities suspect might be the work of Maoist rebels.

The bomb had been planted outside the house of Chief Justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyay, only 50 metres (165 feet) from the premier's official residence.

Nepal is still in a state of shock following last month's massacre of the royal family by Crown Prince Dipendra.

Previous attacks

Wednesday morning's explosion was heard across the capital and the army sealed off the area.

It follows a relatively bigger explosion on Tuesday near a textile factory in the suburbs of the city, which caused some damage to property.

A number of other smaller bombs have been defused by police in recent days.

Maoist pamphlets were recovered from the area of the factory blast, indicating it was the work of the insurgents, police said.

Sackings

Four senior security officials at the Nepalese royal palace were sacked on Tuesday after the massacre last month in which the king, queen and seven other family members were murdered.


They were fired for negligence of their duty at the time of the massacre.

Defence Secretary Padam Kumar Acharya
Defence Secretary Padam Kumar Acharya said that the officials had been dismissed on the grounds of neglect of duty.

Reports from the royal palace say that a number of other changes to security personnel have been made.

Mr Acharya told the BBC that King Gyanendra has appointed the aide-de-camp (ADC) to the slain Prince Nirajan as his new ADC.

King Gyanendra recently ordered a security review following concerns about security lapses at the palace.

Insurgency fears

An inquiry panel has also recommended a revamp of palace security following concern in the government over Maoist rebel violence.

The rebels are fighting to replace Nepal's constitutional monarchy with a communist republic, and have said they will step up their military campaign following the palace killings.

They say that the killing was the outcome of a national and international conspiracy.

More than 1,700 people have been killed since the rebellion began five years ago.

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See also:

04 Jul 01 | South Asia
Nepal's Maoists on the move
29 Jun 01 | South Asia
Nepal king backs democracy
14 Jun 01 | South Asia
Prince blamed for Nepal massacre
07 Jun 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Nepal's night of bloodshed
05 Apr 01 | South Asia
Mao in the mountains
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