Bomb blast injures 5 teens collecting bottles for recycling in Yangon

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast amid high tension over the junta’s military conscription campaign.
By RFA Burmese
2024.03.28
Bomb blast injures 5 teens collecting bottles for recycling in Yangon Patients injured in a bomb blast near Sule Bridge are transported to Yangon Hospital.
Citizen Journalist

A bomb blast in downtown Yangon on Wednesday evening injured five teenage boys who were collecting bottles for recycling, residents of Myanmar’s largest city who witnessed it said.

The boys inadvertently detonated the bomb after picking up and opening a bag that was sitting on the roadside, residents said.

“One of them was unable to move anything below his knee joint, as shrapnel from the bomb tore flesh from his lower leg down to the bone,” one witness told RFA Burmese. “Three of them were left in critical condition.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Rebel groups have carried out similar attacks in cities to undermine the junta's rule since the military’s February 2021 coup d’etat. 

Tensions are high over the junta’s plan to begin military conscription at the start of next month.

The blast took place at around 8 pm at the Taw Win pedestrian overpass – known locally as Sule Bridge – on Sule Pagoda Road in the center of Yangon’s Kyauktada township, said the residents who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke to RFA Burmese on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

An official from an area medical volunteer group known as Zeya Maggin told RFA that all five were initially taken to Yangon General Hospital for treatment, but transferred to No. 2 Military Hospital in Yangon’s Dagon township at around 11 pm.

At the time of the transfer, only one of the teenagers remained in critical condition due to a “severe head injury,” he said.

Patients injured in a bomb blast near Sule Bridge are transported to Yangon Hospital. Blurring in photo is from source. (Citizen Journalist)
Patients injured in a bomb blast near Sule Bridge are transported to Yangon Hospital. Blurring in photo is from source. (Citizen Journalist)

Wounded in the blast were San Kyay Bar, 11, Pho Lapyae, 11, Kyaw Kyaw 14, Phyo Thet Paing, 14, and Pho Thauk Kyar, 16 – all of whom hail from other townships.

Attempts by RFA to contact the hospitals and the junta’s spokesperson for Yangon region by telephone for further details went unanswered Thursday. The junta’s information team had yet to make a public announcement or issue a press statement about the incident by the time of publishing.

Political commentator Than Soe Naing called on the public to remain vigilant amid a spate of recent bomb blasts in Myanmar’s urban areas. On March 1, four pedestrians were killed in bomb blasts in Yangon’s Hlaingtharyar and Insein townships.

"When such explosions occur in urban areas, [it’s devastating but] there is no possible way to avoid such incidents,” he said. “I believe it’s imperative for us, as citizens, to exercise caution.”

Translated by Kalyar Lwin. Edited by Joshua Lipes and Malcolm Foster.

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