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UN condemns bombings at its office in east Nepal

UN strongly condemns bombings at its office in eastern Nepal

The United Nations today strongly condemned two explosions at the premises of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the east of strife-torn Nepal, caused when “socket bombs” were thrown over the fence surrounding the office.

The UN said that its offices in Damak, Jhapa district, would remain closed pending an investigation into the blasts, but that there were no reports of casualties and no major damage was done to the office building.

“The UN strongly condemns the attack which violates international humanitarian law and the UN Basic Operating Guidelines,” said a statement released in Katmandu.

The UN works throughout the Himalayan kingdom to address the needs of the civilian population and, in the Damak area, it provides protection and assistance to over 105,000 Bhutanese refugees living in camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts in the east of the country.

Programmes for the refugees are carried out by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and WFP. The Bhutanese refugees have been living in Nepal since the early 1990s, making it one of Asia’s most protracted refugee situations.

Tensions in the camps are increasing as the Bhutanese refugees have little hope for the future, the UNHCR has said. Security concerns have also grown because of conflict between the Government of King Gyanendra and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

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