Series of small blasts hit Myanmar's largest city

Blasts at regional gov’t building Friday night the 3rd such incident in week in Yangon

Series of small blasts hit Myanmar's largest city

World Bulletin / News Desk

Myanmar police said two small explosions occurred at a regional government building in Myanmar's largest city Friday evening -- the third such incident in a week.

Soldiers and police locked down the regional government office near the holy Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon where the blasts were reported.

A senior police officer told Anadolu Agency that no one was injured in the explosions.

“We are still inspecting what device caused the blasts,” Win Naing said, adding that the motive for the explosions remains unclear.

The latest incident was the third blast in a week since fighting broke out between troops and ethnic rebels in north-eastern Shan State.

Three suspected handmade bombs had exploded in a supermarket in Yangon on Sunday, and four blasts were reported at an immigration office in the city’s Dagon Township on Thursday.

Clashes broke out in restive Shan after four rebel groups -- including the powerful Kachin Independence Army (KIA) -- launched surprise joint attacks on military checkpoints, police stations and the 105th Mile Trade Zone in Muse district Sunday.

The government said Friday that at least 14 people -- including eight civilians -- died during the ongoing fighting.

More than 41,000 people in the area have fled to Muse town to escape the fighting, according to government.

The groups involved in the clashes did not sign up to last year's government-sponsored Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).

State-run media reported Thursday a statement from the State Counselor Office saying the government “is keeping the peace door open to welcome all relevant stakeholders for participation in the peace process”.

“In order to immediately end the armed conflict in north-east Shan state, I strongly urged the armed groups to join the peace process by signing the NCA,” State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said in the statement.

Suu Kyi warned the rebels that taking up arms to solve political issues only “causes protracted armed conflicts”, with people in affected regions suffering and lagging behind economic development enjoyed by neighboring countries.

“Arms will not resolve the issues nor bring about the desired goals of the people,” she said, describing the 21st Century Panlong Conference peace talks as the only way by which to end all armed conflicts countrywide and to establish “perpetual peace”.

Myanmar is set to hold a second meeting of the Union Peace Conference -- dubbed the 21st Century Panlong Conference -- in January 2017.

The groups involved in the fighting in Shan -- the KIA, the Taung National Liberation Army (TNLA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and the Arakan Army (AA) -- did not sign the NCA under the previous government.

The political arm of the KIA, however, did take part in the Panglong Conference in August -- the first major peace talk under Suu Kyi’s government.

The AA, MNDAA and TNLA were banned from the talks and continue to be classified as "terrorists" as the government says they refused to lay down arms prior to Panglong.

The KIA said Wednesday that the alliance launched just “a limited joint-offensive” in Shan, and would not let it harm the national reconciliation and peace process.

 

Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2016, 19:47
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