Three persons were killed and seven others injured when a powerful bomb went off outside the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) central office in Babarmahal, Kathmandu on Monday.
The explosion occurred at around 1:05 this afternoon, killing two persons on the spot and injured eight. The other victim breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the Bir Hospital. Police identified two of the deceased as Krishna Bahadur Tamang and Man Bahadur Tamang of Baireni in Dhading. The identity of the third victim has not been established.
Meanwhile, Samyukta Jatiya Mukti Morcha-Bishwokranti (SJMM), a little known underground outfit, has claimed responsibility for the blast. The group had carried out an explosion at the mobile phone tower in Dhadhing recently.
The explosion was carried out three days after the NOC hiked the prices of petroleum products. The government had hiked fuel prices effective from Saturday citing inability to purchase fuels in line with the ballooning fuel prices in the international market.
The injured have been identified as Basu Shrestha, 20, of Mugu district, Lal Bahadur Tamang, 65, of Dhading district, Som Bahadur Tamang, 35, Raghu Nath Khadka, 45, of Bhaktapur and Bishnu Pulara of Dhangadi district. Som Bahadur Tamang is said to be in critical condition. All the injured have been receiving medical attention at Bir hospital, sources confirmed.
The NOC office is situated 300 meters away from Singha Durbar, the central government secretariat, where security personnel are deployed round the clock.
It has been reported that a meeting of Public Accounts Committee on fuel price hike was underway when the explosion took place.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar reached the incident site to took stock of the situation and later visited the injured in Bir Hospital.
Minister Gachhadar has annouced to provide relief package to the families of the deceased and free treatment to those injured.
The mome ministry is currently holding an emergency meeting with the heads of security agecies.
Minister Gachhadar condemned the blast, saying that it was a threat to not only the security but the entire government.
However, the government has not made public its view on the incident. An emergency Cabinet meeting has been convened in the aftermath of the blast that terrorised the residents of the Valley.