By HEIN THAR | FRONTIER
YANGON — Police have confirmed that a hand grenade was found outside the National League for Democracy office in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township on Wednesday, in an incident that followed a bomb hoax in Nay Pyi Taw.
Thingangyun police said the grenade was found near an NLD signboard outside the office at about 8am. They said the grenade had been disposed of safely.
“It is a real grenade,” the head of police for Thingangyun Township Police Captain Kaung Naing told Frontier on Wednesday, declining to comment further. “More detailed information will be released by military bomb specialists,” he said.
The office is used by Yangon Region Hluttaw MP U Nay Phone Latt (Thingangyun-1), who said he assumed that the incident was aimed at threatening the NLD.
“Military weapons should only be used in the battlefield, not in the city,” he told Frontier.
A military official, who asked not to be identified, said the design of the bomb was similar but not identical to an Mk 2 grenade.
NLD member U Kyaw Zin Oo said a young man who was collecting rubbish in the street was the first to see the grenade in front of the office. After he raised the alarm, party members called the police, he said.
“At first we thought it was a fake, but later the police confirmed that it was a real explosive,” he said.
On Wednesday, police examined CCTV footage of the streets surrounding the NLD office compound, but they claimed on Wednesday to have found nothing, Kyaw Zin Oo told Frontier.
“Police said the footage showed the man who found the grenade holding it in his hand. That’s all they found on the CCTV,” he said.
Frontier asked police about the CCTV records, but they said the investigation had only just opened and they could not comment yet.
The discovery of the grenade came a day after a bomb scare at housing in Nay Pyi Taw that is mainly used by NLD MPs. The scare was later revealed to be a hoax.
Nay Phone Latt said he believed the cases were linked to the NLD’s efforts to amend the constitution.
The two incidents came as the Union Parliament prepares to debate nearly 4,000 proposals by the NLD and other parties to amend sections of the 2008 charter, which were collected through a committee initiated earlier this year by the NLD.
The move for constitutional reform by the NLD government is opposed by the military and the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party.