April 17, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 8 months ago

Crude bomb blast at Indian government relief office in Nepal, no injuries

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A crude bomb went off outside an Indian government relief office in Nepal causing minor damage but no injuries, officials said on Tuesday, in what appeared to be a rare gesture of Nepali anger toward its giant neighbor to the south.

The blast happened in Biratnagar town, near the Indian border, 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the capital, Kathmandu, late on Monday, police official Tilak Shrestha told Reuters.

A wall of the Indian compound, set up to coordinate movement of vehicles in the border area after widespread floods in 2008 closed the main road, was damaged, said Seshnarayan Paudel, a senior district official.

“The incident took place at night and there was no one inside the office,” Paudel said.

No one claimed responsibility and the motive was not known, he said.

Army spokesman Colonel Vijay Thapa said the blast was caused by a crude bomb made in a pressure cooker.

India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the supplier of the bulk of its consumer goods and India’s pervasive economic and diplomatic influence is at times a source of resentment in Nepal.

Nepal has in recent years criticized what it sees as Indian interference in agitation by some ethnic minority people in Nepal campaigning for greater political and economic rights.

An Indian embassy official confirmed that there were no injuries in the blast but gave no more details.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Malini Menon, Robert Birsel

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