Four people were killed and seven others injured in three separate explosions in the Nepali capital Kathmandu, police sources said.
“Three people were killed on the spot and the fourth one died while undergoing treatment at a hospital,” police official Shyam Lal Gyawali said on Sunday, adding that the nature of the blasts was still being investigated.
One person was killed in an explosion inside a house in the Ghattekulo residential area in the heart of the city.
“I heard a big noise and rushed to the spot to find the wall of a house had developed cracks due to the impact of the blast,” 17-year-old student Govinda Bhandari told Reuters news agency at the site of the first blast.
The second blast took place near a hairdresser in the Sukedhara area on the outskirts of the city, where three people were killed.
The third blast, a crude device, went off near a brick kiln in the Thankot area of Kathmandu, injuring two people, police said. All seven injured people were taken to hospital.
‘Stepped up security’
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police said they suspect the involvement of a Maoist splinter group whose pamphlets were found in a house where one of the explosions took place.
Gyawali said that “a pamphlet from the group had been found at the site of the first blast”.
“We are investigating all incidents and have stepped up the security,” police spokesman Bishwa Raj Pokharel told the AFP news agency.
The incidents come on the eve of a nationwide strike called by the same Maoist splinter group, protesting the death of their cadre in a police encounter over a week ago.
Nepal has enjoyed a relatively peaceful environment since the end of a decade-long civil war which concluded with a peace deal in 2006. The main group of the former rebels has joined the party that runs the government.
But some former fighters have broken away, accusing their previous leaders of betraying their original revolutionary ideals.
In February, the breakaway group was implicated in an explosion that killed one person outside the office of a telecom company Ncell, part of Malaysia-based Axiata Group Berhad.
The government outlawed the group following the incident, banning their activities.