Nepal Election Violence Grows, UN Says; Mosque Blast Kills Two

March 31, 2008

Author: Michael Heath

Source: Bloomberg

Violence in Nepal before next week's general election is intensifying, the United Nations said, as a bomb attack on a mosque in the east killed two people.

Parties must ``act immediately to end the cycle of violence and retaliation,'' the UN Mission in Nepal said in a report on the election campaign. The government must bring to justice the perpetrators of the March 29 mosque attack in Biratnagar, a city about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of the capital, Kathmandu, the UN said.

Muslims should show restraint and maintain communal harmony, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said. ``This kind of violent incident will have no effect on the election,'' he said at his home in Biratnagar yesterday, according to

Nepal's general election, scheduled for April 10, is the first nationwide ballot since a November 2006 peace accord ended a decade-long insurgency in the Himalayan kingdom by communist rebels fighting for a republic. Voters will elect an assembly to draw up a new constitution and decide at its first meeting whether to scrap the monarchy after almost 240 years.