CPN (Maoist-Centre) leader and minister in Nepal's Deuba government Janardan Sharma today escaped unhurt in an IED attack on his vehicle while he was on his way for election campaigning in Rukum district, police said.
Unidentified men had hurled two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Sharma's vehicle at a village in Rukum, some 280 km west of Kathmandu, when he was headed for Simli area of Sani Bheri rural municipality, they said.
The former home minister and federal election candidate escaped unhurt in the attack, the police added.
According to Sharma, the perpetrators intentionally targeted the vehicle that he was riding as they waited for the first car to move past before hurling the explosives, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The first IED exploded after hitting the vehicle while the other failed to explode. However, it did not cause any physical harm to the publicity team.
The district police suspected the role of Sharma's poll rivals behind the attack and said District Police Office Chief DSP Rajendra Dhamala said a search was underway for the perpetrators involved in the incident. The police have suspected the hand of Netra Bikram Chand-led cadres for the incident, the report said.
The general and parliamentary elections in Nepal -- scheduled for November 26 and December 7 -- were declared on August 21 and are seen as the final step in the Himalayan nation's post-war transition to a federal democracy.
The Maoists have dominated Nepal's politics for more than 20 years after waging a decade-long insurgency against government forces that claimed more than 16,000 lives.
The civil war in Nepal came to an end in 2006.
The CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist have forged electoral alliance for both the provincial and the parliamentary polls, giving a tough fight to ruling Nepali Congress, which emerged as the largest party in the last parliamentary elections.
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