Myanmar blasts kill at least nine in Yangon

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thu, 15 Apr 2010

Yangon - A series of explosions on Thursday killed at least nine people and injured up to 62 while they were enjoying Myanmar's traditional New Year celebrations in Yangon, police and hospital sources said.

Three blasts, believed to have been caused by grenades, were reported in Mingalartaungnyunt township near a popular lake in Yangon at 3:10 pm (0840 GMT), said a policeman who asked to remain anonymous.

The area was packed with people enjoying the New Year.

Yangon hospital officials told reporters that five women and four men died in the blasts, which injured 45 men and 17 women.

The official toll was put at six dead and 75 injured.

It was the worst act of urban terrorism in Yangon, Myanmar's former capital and largest city, since May 2005 when bombs exploded in popular shopping districts, killing 11 people and injuring up to 160.

Those bombs were blamed on the Karen National Union and Shan State Army, two rebel groups that have been fighting the central government for decades.

Thursday's blasts came while people were enjoying the Thingyan Pandal festival, believed to of Brahmin origin, which is accompanied by water splashing and the smearing of talcum paste on people's cheeks.

It comes at the peak of the hot season in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, which also celebrate their traditional New Year this week.


Post a Comment