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Nepal: World Food Programme compound bombed

Briefing notes

Nepal: World Food Programme compound bombed

3 March 2006

In a disturbing new development, two pipe bombs were thrown into the compound of our sister agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), in Damak, eastern Nepal yesterday, causing slight damage and fortunately no injuries.

WFP is a vital partner providing food assistance to some 105,000 Bhutanese refugees living in seven UNHCR-run camps in and around Damak. They have been in exile in Nepal since the early 1990s. UNHCR and WFP, the only two UN agencies in Damak, have closed their offices until further notice, although services to refugees in the camps are continuing.

There have been no immediate claims for responsibility. However, this incident, the first of its kind, underlines the precariousness of the situation of the refugees in a country which is in the grip of a Maoist insurgency.