Series of bomb blasts rock Bhutan
( Reuters ) - Four bomb blasts rocked the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on Sunday, including one in the capital Thimphu, and a woman was injured, a spokesman for the Royal Bhutan Police said.
The blasts came as the Buddhist nation prepared to shift to democracy after a century of absolute monarchy by holding its first ever general election on March 24.
The bombs -- planted in a vegetable market, near a restaurant and close to a government guest house -- failed to cause much damage to properties, except shattering a few window panes, police said. Nepal-based Maoists were suspected of involvement.
Many ethnic Nepalis in Bhutan were not given the right to vote. Tens of thousands fled Bhutan or were expelled in 1991 for protesting against discrimination and demanding democracy.
Some angry Nepalis, along with refugees, have formed armed groups and threatened to disrupt the vote next month.
"The Bhutan Tiger Force, Bhutan Maoists Party, and Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal are suspected to be behind these explosions," the police spokesman said.
Apart from Thimphu, the blasts took place in the districts of Samste, Chukha and Dagana. Police later found another unexploded bomb during searches at Dagana district.