Explosions rock three Myanmar cities

Reports indicate two people wounded after blasts in Mandalay, Naypyidaw and Pyin Oo Lwin.

    Residents said two people were wounded in a blast which hit a vehicle in Mandalay [Reuters]

    Near simultaneous bomb explosions in three Myanmar cities have wounded at least two people, the government and residents say.

    The first explosion destroyed a car and shattered windows near the main Zaygyo market in the central city of Mandalay shortly before noon on Friday, a government official said.

    There was no confirmation of the number of casualties, but residents said that two people had been wounded in the blast, with a government official saying that one of those injured was a traffic policeman.

    The market was closed at the time of the blast.

    Another explosion hit an abandoned home in the capital, Naypyidaw, a government official said.

    "There was a bomb blast at an old house near the Thabyaykone market in Naypyidaw. There were no casualties," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

    A third blast hit in the resort town of Pyin Oo Lwin, in the central part of the country, which is also home to a military training academy.

    It was not immediately clear what kind of explosives were used in the attacks, nor who had carried them out.

    Bombings have become increasingly common in Myanmar, where pro-democracy activists and various ethnic groups have been battling the military-backed government.

    The government has blamed ethnic Karen rebels for a bombing in Naypyitaw earlier this month, and a train attack in May that killed two people and injured nine others.

    Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years last November, formally ending the military rule which began in 1962.

    The new government, however, comprises mostly retired army officers and critics say that the vote was arranged in order to keep power in military hands.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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