May 1, 2020 / 5:56 AM / 25 days ago

Four children die in blast in Nepal; abandoned weapon suspected

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A blast in a remote part of Nepal has killed four children, police said on Friday, with suspicion it was caused by old ordnance left over from a decade-long Maoist insurgency.

The children, aged from five to 13, had taken cattle to graze in a forest in the northwestern district of Rolpa on Thursday when they found a device and played with it, probably mistaking it for a toy, said police official Shanta Kumar K.C.

“It may have been abandoned during the conflict,” he said. Authorities were investigating.

The Maoist rebellion began in Rolpa in 1996 and caused 17,000 deaths before ending with a peace deal in 2006. The former rebels are now part of the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

Unexploded ordnance from the war still causes casualties.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer

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