Security forces have defused a “powerful” bomb packed inside a sack and placed at the entrance of a Protestant church in central Kathmandu. The bomb, which was in a cloth bag and stuffed in a white plastic sack, was discovered yesterday outside the Navajiwan Church, which belongs to the Assemblies of God grouping of churches at around 6pm by the janitor Arjun Magar. “The sack was left just outside the gate. I became suspicious when I saw another bag inside, so I called the church elders who called the police,” he said. Police cordoned off the area in Kupondole district before making the bomb safe with a series of controlled explosions. An army bomb disposal expert later said three high-powered devices were found in the sack and would have caused extensive damage if they had gone off. Suman Gurung, the church pastor, said people in the area had a lucky escape and that security for services and Church activities in the future would be stepped up. “We will continue to be vigilant and pray. We didn’t used to examine bags of those coming to worship but from now on we will do that,” he said. Security has become a major concern for Christians in Kathmandu this week following a bomb attack on the United Mission to Nepal, a Christian NGO, on November 22. Earlier yesterday, Pastor Gurung, along with several other Christian clergymen in south Kathmandu including two Catholic parish priests, met with police to discuss the security situation.
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