Two Bombs Explode in Kawkareik Market

Two bombs exploded on Friday around noon at a market in Kawkareik Township in southern Karen State, leaving three people injured and causing minor damage, according to sources in the area. One undetonated bomb was also discovered.

According to a staff member at the hospital in Pa’an, one of the victims later died. The hospital employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said the victim was a man who had lost both his legs in the blast.

Police in Kawkareik confirmed the blast, but gave no details about the casualties. Local sources said the victims had been hospitalized in Pa-an, the capital of Karen State.

The sources said that a rumor about possible bomb attacks had circulated in Kawkareik two days before.

The Kawkareik explosion brings the total to four incidents of bomb blasts this week in ethnic Shan and Karen states. The bomb blast in Kawkareik came one day after an explosion in Laogai, the capital of the ethnic Kokang region in northern Shan State.

Two bombs exploded in Laogai on Monday and Wednesday while another blast was reported in Panglong town in Shan State on Tuesday. A total of 11 persons, all civilians, were injured, according to the state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar.

The Burmese regime reportedly laid the blame for the blasts in Laogai on ousted Kokang leader Peng Jiasheng and his associates, and blamed another ethnic army, the Shan State Army–South, for the explosion in Panglong.

The military government routinely blames ethnic armies for any incidents involving bombs in Burma.

However, ethnic leaders have denied the charges and said that the Burmese regime may be behind the blasts as it plans to announce a new anti-terrorism law this year ahead of the general election.

A report in the weekly journal Myanmar Times, quoted the head of the Department of Transnational Crime, Pol Col Sit Aye, in December 2009, saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs is cooperating with several departments to implement a new law.

“Action will be taken against those who offer financial or material support to terrorism,” Sit Aye was quoted as saying.

Several observers and lawyers, however, have said they are concerned the law will be used by the Burmese military government as a tool to control anti-government activities ahead of the election expected later this year.

irrawaddy news

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