One Dead in Burma Blasts

Four bombings have occurred in and near Rangoon over the last month.
2008-10-20
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Traffic jams a street in Rangoon leading up to a pagoda, Oct. 27, 2007.
Traffic jams a street in Rangoon leading up to a pagoda, Oct. 27, 2007.
AFP

BANGKOK—An explosion north of Rangoon killed one man in the second of two blasts in or near the former Burmese capital, Rangoon, Burmese sources said.

Two residents of the Htan Chauk Pin quarter of Shwe Pyi Tha township, where the blast occurred around 5:30 p.m., said one man was killed, possibly while "testing" the device. They gave no further details.

No statement has been issued by authorities and calls to the local police office went unanswered. A receptionist at the local township authority office said relevant officials were busy in a meeting and unable to answer questions from reporters.

But the junta’s New Light of Myanmar newspaper on Tuesday blamed the blast on a former monk named Thet Oo Win who it said died while planting the device.

It published a photo of what it said was his body, and it described him as a layman and a "drinker" who had only just returned to Rangoon after fleeing to the Thai border during a crackdown on protesters a year ago.

The newspaper also said materials used for building explosives found scattered around the bomb site were similar to those discovered after a September blast at bus stop outside City Hall.

Another bomb exploded at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday on a sports field in northeastern Rangoon but caused no casualties, residents said. Police defused a second bomb found nearby after combing the area, official newspapers reported on Monday.

The two explosions brought to four the total number of blasts in the area over the last month.

An explosion on a passenger bus in Rangoon on Sept. 9 wounded three people, while a blast outside City Hall injured four on Sept. 25.

Sunday's blast occurred in the same township as an explosion at a office of the military junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Association on July 1.

State media accused two members of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party of planting that bomb.

Bombings occur periodically in Burma, and the military government usually blames either dissidents or ethnic insurgents.

Original reporting by RFA’s Burmese service. Burmese service director: Nancy Shwe. Executive producer: Susan Lavery. Written in English by Joshua Lipes and edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

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