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Catholic priest killed in Nepal, says Vatican

Vatican City, July 1 (AP): A Vatican-affiliated news agency says a Roman Catholic priest has been killed in Nepal in a suspected terrorist attack.

AsiaNews says the Reverend John Prakash died after armed men broke into his residence in the eastern city of Sirsiya and set off an explosive device. Prakash was 62.

The agency says police suspect a terrorist group called the Terai Defence Army. It says the group has demanded money from the principal of the local Catholic school in the past.

AsiaNews says it is the first killing in the history of the Catholic Church in Nepal. The Vatican had no immediate information on the report.

Bomb blasts

Three bombs exploded at an office of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) in east Nepal that helps Bhutanese refugees to settle in third countries, police and government officials said today.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blasts, in the eastern town of Damak late yesterday. No one was hurt, police said, although there was minor damage to the buildings.

It was the third attack on the IOM in Nepal since some western countries, including the US, began taking in some of the 107,000 Bhutanese of ethnic Nepali origin that live in Nepal earlier this year.

They fled their homes in Bhutan or were expelled after demanding democracy in the 1990s. The refugees are split over the resettlement scheme.

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