Lawmaker, 3 police defectors killed in Myanmar blast

Legislator, cops were hiding at house in Bago Region, 4th police defector in hospital after losing both arms, media reports.

Lawmaker, 3 police defectors killed in Myanmar blast

Five people, including a former lawmaker and three police defectors, were killed in an explosion at a house in southern central Myanmar, local media reported on Tuesday.

Thet Win Hlaing, a regional lawmaker from the National League for Democracy (NLD), and at least four police defectors were in hiding at the house in the village of Zee Oke in Bago Region’s Pyay Township where the powerful blast occurred late on Monday, according to a report by Myanmar Now news portal.

One of the four police officers was seriously wounded and is currently receiving treatment at Pyay Hospital after losing both arms, the report said.

The fifth person killed in the explosion was the owner of the house.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be confirmed but there was speculation that it might have been a parcel bomb, the report added.

“As far as I know, the explosion went off when they opened a package,” the agency quoted a local source as saying.

Hlaing and the four police officers were hiding in the village since Myanmar’s army seized power on Feb. 1 by ousting the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Along with Suu Kyi and President Win Myint Myint, the military junta has detained over 3,500 more people and killed at least 765 anti-coup protesters since ending a decade of fragile civilian rule in Myanmar.

Japanese journalist charged for ‘fake news’

The Myanmar military has indicted a Japanese freelance journalist on charges of spreading “fake news,” according to media reports.

Yuki Kitazumi, 45, who was arrested in Myanmar on April 18, could face a jail term of up to three years if convicted under the penal code as amended after the February coup, Kyodo News Agency reported.

Japan’s government has called for his release and an embassy official in Yangon said on Tuesday that efforts will continue to secure his freedom.

Kitazumi, who previously worked at for Japanese financial daily Nikkei, covered protests and “posted online through such means as social media information deemed to be critical of the military,” read the Kyodo report.