Myanmar police arrest three over Yangon bombings


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. 

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

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.

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Support our independent journalism and get exclusive behind-the-scenes content and analysis

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters.

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar