Burmese government blames KNU for bomb on Rangoon-Mandalay train

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burmese authorities have arrested one man as a suspect in the bombing of the Rangoon-Mandalay train near Naypyitaw last month and alleged that the Karen National Union (KNU) ordered the attack.

The Rangoon Railway Station. Authorities have increased security since the railway bombing in May. Photo: MizzimaThe Rangoon Railway Station. Authorities have increased security since the railway bombing in May. Photo: Mizzima

The state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported on Thursday that Kyaw Di aka Marino, the suspect, was arrested on May 29.

A bomb exploded on the No.3 Rangoon-Mandalay train on May 17, killing two people and injuring nine others.

The newspaper article alleged that Kyaw Di hid in farmhouses along an escape route before he was arrested on May 29. The newspaper alleged that KNU Captains Shah Lit Kwe, Saw Ka Htaw and Saw Htoo Sae, who were identified as explosive experts in KNU Battalion 5 of Brigade No. 2, assigned Kyaw Di to place the bomb on the train.

The story alleged the suspect was given 20,000 kyat (about US$ 28). The authorities claimed that Kyaw Di confessed that he brought a bomb with two batteries in a plastic bag covered by paper and was told not to attach the battery to the bomb until the train left Naypyitaw station, and then to jump off the train.

According to the article, Kyaw Di said that when the train left Naypyitaw, he activated the bomb, put it on luggage rack, and jumped off the train around milepost 248/21. He reportedly said he heard an explosion about two minutes later.

Responding to the story, KNU Joint General-Secretary Major Pado Saw Hla Ngwe strongly denied the allegations.

‘They can invent a plot. They can unlawfully arrest someone and force the person to make false confessions and dishonest accounts. Many times before they have invented plots in other cases. It’s their way’, Pado Saw Hla Ngwe told Mizzima.

‘The KNU is an organization that always defies them, so they usually try to blame us by saying that the KNU is a terrorist organization. This is just one more attempt’, he said.

According to a KNU statement, there were 1,083 military engagements between the Burmese army and the KNU in 2010.

Jan-March KNU Human Right Report-engl

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