Source AP ©

Explosion killes 9 in Nepal

A bomb apparently kept hidden in a house in western Nepal accidentally exploded on Tuesday, killing nine people, officials said.

The bomb also destroyed the house in Gothari village, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of the capital of Katmandu, police official Bhim Prasad Dhakal said.

The initial investigation showed the bomb was kept hidden in the house and could have accidentally exploded, Dhakal said. Five of the nine people killed were members of the same family, he said.

Details were still sketchy since the village was accessible only on foot.

The area, however, has been the site of many battles between government troops and communist rebels in the past few years. There was a significant presence of rebels in the area at the peak of the insurgency.

The Maoist guerrillas signed a peace accord last year and joined Parliament and the government this year after handing over their weapons and confining their combatants in U.N.-monitored camps.

The Maoists have repeatedly been accused of keeping weapons and explosives outside these camps in defiance of the peace agreement. They have denied the allegations.

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