Thursday, May 28, 2009

More details on Nepal church bombing

Destroyed Church At 9:23AM on May 23 in the Himalayan nation of Nepal a powerful pressure cooker bomb ripped through the hall of the Assumption Catholic Church in Dhobighat, Kathmandu killing two and wounding fifteen. The congregation was preparing for their Saturday morning Mass and approximately 250 were in the room. Eyewitnesses say that a young man and woman in their early 20s came in to the church at about 9:15AM carrying a bag. The woman set the bag down between two ladies and told them that she was going to the toilet. A few minutes later the bomb exploded sending shrapnel and nails flying into the congregation. Instantly a fifteen year old Indian Christian girl Celestina Joesph was killed. On the way to the hospital 30 year old Deepa Patrick a newlywed visiting family in Nepal from India also died. Fifteen others were injured including one of the priests. 3 of the injured remain in critical condition. In an interview with one of the leaders of the church he told VOM “We never expected this kind of thing to happen. We never harm anyone”. A second bomb was disarmed by police before it was able to detonate.

The Nepal Defense Army, a Hindu militant group with ties to Indian Hindu extremist groups, has taken responsibility for the attack. They are the same group that mutilated and murdered a Catholic priest last year in Nepal and made death threats to the VOM staff and many other Christian leaders. They are responsible for bomb attacks on other Christian churches and Muslim mosques. Their leader RP Mainali states that their goal is to return Nepal to a Hindu State and to rid Nepal of the Christians and the Muslims. In a phone conversation with VOM staff when he made death threats, Mainali claims to have protection from local government and the Hindu people of Nepal.

VOM is working with the local church in assisting with the medical needs of the injured.

Name List of injured Christian Injured priest 2
Injured 6 at hospital 1 Injured 6 at hospital 2
Injured 3-1 Injured 2 lost ear 3
Injured 6 with doctor 2 Injured 5

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