Phuentsholing blast victim is stable, AK-47 cartridges found from site

Gopa Karma Tobgay, 41, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) personnel who was injured in the gunfire during the bomb blast that occurred at Rinchending, Phuentsholing last Friday is recovering at the Thimphu Hospital though he has difficulty in eating solid food.

The small stich on his right cheek and a bandaged left cheek shows how the bullet penetrated through his face.

Now recuperating in Cabin 5 of the hospital, his bruised face looks purple and blue and eyes are swollen. Gopa Karma, is a father of four children and his wife, is pregnant with the fifth child. He is worried how he family would be coping with the tragedy.

It is reported that four AK-47 cartridge shells (dead shells) were found by the team comprising of officials from the RBP, Royal Bhutan Army, the Phuentsholing Thorm office and the dzongda.

Regarding the claims on the responsibility for the blast, the RBP said they are still investigating the case.

However, the Bhutan News Service (BNS), has stated that an underground armed outfit, the United Revolutionary Front of Bhutan (URFB), had claimed the responsibility of explosion.

BNS states that on Saturday evening, the URFB commander-in-chief Karma had claimed that their cadres had made the attack on February 17 at 8:30 p.m.

After the blast the municipality has cleared the Rinchending area and has dismantled the forest hut to set up spot lights.

Phuentsholing Mayor Tsheten Dorji said that there was some PWD settlers staying  atop the hill on the way to Pasakha.  After the Losar holidays, they will be asked to vacate to another location.

On February 19 afternoon, Oppostion Leader Tshering Tobgay, visited Gopa Karma.

“We are proud of your bravery and from now onwards you will be an inspiration to many and they will look up to you. In times like these, our country needs brave people like you, you have done well. Tashi Delek,” the opposition leader told a teary eyed Gopa Karma.

This is the second bomb blast in Rinchending, the earlier one was back in 2008.

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