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Overview of Terrorism in Nepal– USCRT 2017

Published Sep 23, 2018
Updated Jul 10, 2020

An overview of terrorism in Nepal as provided vide the US Department of State. Bureau Of Counterterrorism And Countering Violent Extremism, Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 is as per succeeding paragraphs.

Overview: Nepal experienced no acts of terrorism directed against U.S. or Western targets in 2017. However, Nepal did see an increase in incidents of terrorism against domestic targets, largely surrounding elections held in late 2017. The Government of Nepal attributed the majority of the attacks to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a Maoist faction also known as the “Netra Bikram Chand Group” or “Biplav Group” that split from the mainstream Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) several years ago. In response to these incidents, Nepal’s security organs largely directed their counterterrorism efforts against the Biplav Group, forming special teams to identify and arrest its leaders.

2017 Terrorist Incidents: Nepal experienced an increase in terrorist attacks during the year, primarily in connection with local, provincial, and national elections held around the country in April, June, September, November, and December. None of these attacks were directed against U.S. or Western targets. It was generally believed that these attacks, which resulted in one death and multiple injuries, were intended to intimidate political candidates, convince voters to stay home, and undermine the elections. The incidents initially resulted only in property damage and minor injuries, but they increased in frequency and severity later in the year. By the time elections ended in early December, more than 100 such attacks had occurred throughout Nepal, resulting in one death and numerous injuries.

In the lead-up to the various phases of elections, security forces found and defused IEDs before they could explode. For example, the Nepalese Army defused an IED discovered near a voting center in Dhading district on November 25. The attacks increased in sophistication toward the end of the year, with one IED that detonated at an early December election rally held for Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba that resulted in injuries to nine people, four of them critically. On December 7, the Biplav Group publicly claimed responsibility for all of the elections-related IED attacks, but the group later retracted this statement. The Nepal Police announced on December 6 that around 600 Biplav Group cadres had been detained for anti-election activities. The attacks largely ceased as campaigning stopped in the days before the last set of polls opened on December 7.