AFP. 30 January 2002. Maoists bomb second Coca-Cola plant in Nepal.

KATHMANDU -- Maoist rebels bombed a Coca-Cola plant in Nepal, two months
after a similar attack on the US beverage giant's only other factory in
the Himalayan kingdom, officials said Wednesday.

S. B. Gurung, the manager of the plant in Bharatpur, 180 kilometres (112
miles) south of Kathmandu, said the Maoists cut down barbed wire late
Tuesday above the factory's tall brick wall and planted powerful bombs.

But he said the explosion did not cause extensive damage and will not
affect Coca-Cola's operations in Nepal.

"The production will resume from Thursday normally," Gurung told AFP.

He said Coca Cola, based in Atlanta, and the insurance company were
assessing the damage.

No one was reported injured by the bombing Tuesday, although the
Nepali-language newspaper, Kantipur, said the blasts shattered window
panes and caused cracks in houses within 200 metres (yards) of the

The Maoists in late November bombed Coca-Cola's other factory in Nepal,
on the outskirts of Kathmandu, after the government declared a state of
emergency to contain the guerrillas.

Local businessmen said the attacks clearly were meant to show resentment
against the United States, as the Nepalese own almost no shares in
Coca-Cola's factories in the country.

"Had there been equal equity investment, this problem would not have
surfaced," businessman Binod Upadhyay said.

The United States has strongly backed Nepal's crackdown on the Maoists,
who are staunchly anti-American. Nepal in turn has firmly backed the
US-led military campaign in Afghanistan.

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Barry Stoller

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