YANGON -Five people were killed in Myanmar on Tuesday by blasts from at least one package bomb, including an exiled lawmaker and three police officers who had joined a civil disobedience campaign protesting military rule (May 4).
Myanmar has seen an increase in small explosions in residential areas, with some targeting government offices or military installations, after the elected government headed by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown in a coup on February 1.The latest blasts occurred at around 5 p.m. on Monday in a village in Myanmar’s southern central region of Western Bago, according to the Myanmar Now news portal, which cited a resident.
According to the paper, at least one parcel bomb exploded at a house in the village, killing a regional lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy (NLD), three police officers, and a resident.According to the resident, another police officer participating in the civil disobedience campaign was seriously injured after his arms were blown off by the blast. It stated that he had been admitted to the hospital and was seeking care.
The blasts were also confirmed by Khit Thit media, citing an unnamed NLD official in the region.Reuters was unable to independently check the claims, and a call to a military spokesman for comment was not returned.
Since the coup, the violence has intensified, with hundreds of people reported killed by security forces attempting to put down pro-democracy demonstrations in cities and rural towns. Ethnic militias have also backed the junta’s opponents, and the military is battling them on the outskirts of Myanmar.
As fighting in the country’s northern and eastern border regions escalated on Monday, the Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic rebel group, claimed responsibility for shooting down a military helicopter.In the main city, Yangon, a junta-appointed local administrator was stabbed to death, according to domestic reports.
Requests for comment from the police and the military were not returned. According to the advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), security forces have killed at least 766 civilians since the coup. The junta denies this number, claiming that at least 24 security personnel were killed during the protests.Because of the junta’s restrictions on the media, Reuters is unable to verify casualties. Thousands of people have been arrested, including several journalists.
The junta said it had no choice but to take power after its allegations of fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s party were ignored by an election commission that declared the vote fair.
Suu Kyi, 75, and several other members of her party have been detained since the coup. According to the AAPP, over 3,600 people are reportedly detained for criticizing the military.