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Explosion hits hotel in Myanmar's main city

One US woman is wounded in the latest of a series of mysterious blasts in the country over recent days.

Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 20:49
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An explosion has struck one of the most prestigious hotels in Myanmar's main city just before midnight, ripping apart a guest room and wounding one American - the latest in a series of unexplained blasts to hit the Southeast Asian country.

Monday's blast was the latest in a series of mysterious bomb explosions in the former military-ruled country that have left two people dead and several wounded in recent days.

We cannot say who is responsible for these acts.

Police Lieutenant General Min Aung

A police official who did not want to be named told the AFP news agency that it was a suspected bomb.

"An American woman who was staying inside the room was injured during the blast,"  the official said at the scene of the explosion at the Traders Hotel.

The woman was taken to the Yangon General Hospital with wounds to her thigh and her hand, the official said. He said the blast was believed to have happened in the guest's bathroom.

Her husband and two children, who were also staying in the hotel, were not injured. Military officials and soldiers with sniffer dogs were seen at the hotel while shattered glass lay on the road outside.

The hotel, part of the Shangri-La group, is located in the heart of Myanmar's commercial hub. It is popular with foreign tourists and visiting business people.

The incident came amid heightened security concerns in the country following a series of bomb blasts by unknown perpetrators.

"We cannot say who is responsible for these acts," said Police Lieutenant General Min Aung of the Myanmar Police Force's intelligence and security department.

Bomb blasts were relatively common under the former junta, which usually blamed the explosions on armed exile groups or ethnic rebels. But such explosions are less common under a new quasi-civilian government which took power in 2011, promising political reforms and efforts to end long-running ethnic insurgencies.

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