YANGON — Myanmar police said Saturday they had arrested three men for planting home-made bombs around Yangon and were investigating if they had links to militant groups in Rakhine State.
Two crude explosive devices went off inside the regional government office compound on Friday night, the third such small-scale attack to hit Myanmar’s normally peaceful commercial hub in just over a week.
None resulted in any casualties but spread unease in the country’s largest city, which is not frequently targeted by attacks despite Myanmar being home toE
The governm several insurgencies.
They come at a time of heightened tension after weeks of deadly violence in Rakhine and clashes between the army and insurgents in northern Shan state.
Police arrested the men on Friday in Yangon’s central Thingyangyun township after questioning a woman who had been at the site of other explosions.
She was not taken into custody.
“The three suspects have already been arrested with a bomb-making kit. They are Muslims,” a policeman told AFP, adding that they “admitted they made the other explosives.”
“Police are still investigating whether they have links with terrorists in Rakhine,” he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Dozens of people have died in northern Rakhine after attacks on police border posts last months sparked a military crackdown.
The government has blamed the raids on Islamist militants with a Pakistani Taliban-trained leader.
Privately, diplomats have questioned this claim.
Several videos of young men armed with knives and guns, purporting to be Rohingya freedom fighters, have appeared online.
Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay posted images of a homemade bomb-making kit that he said one of the suspects had thrown away in the compound of a mosque close to where they were arrested.
When contacted by AFP he declined to give further details, saying investigations were ongoing.