Burma Police Hunt for 3 Muslim Men Suspected of Bomb Plot

Armed police officers guard the eastern entrance way to the upper terrace of Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon in July. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — The police in southern Burma are searching for three Muslim men suspected of entering the country illegally from Thailand and plotting a bomb attack.

Security has been tightened in the Burmese border town of Myeik, in Tanintharyi Division, where the men are believed to have entered the country, a police officer in the town told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

“We have deployed more security forces because we received information about three people suspected of coming to plot a bombing,” the officer said in a phone interview, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We have photos of the three suspects that we sent to every police station, to find them.”

Leaked photographs of the suspects from the police were published on Thursday by the Rangoon-based Daily Eleven newspaper. The suspects were identified in the newspaper as Mahmed, Azziz and Hla Myint.

Mahmed, who lived in Burma for 12 years and was formerly a Burmese citizen, currently has Thai citizenship, the newspaper reported. The citizenship of Azziz, who lives in Indonesia, is currently unknown, it said, while Hla Myint has applied for Thai citizenship but was born in west Burma’s Arakan State. The three men reportedly speak fluent Burmese.

The police are conducting security checks on travelers moving in and out of Myeik, The Daily Eleven reported.

Burma’s national police force says security has been tightened across the country but not necessarily in relation to the three suspected bombers.

“All police in the country have been alerted to raise security, but it’s not about the three suspects and the bomb plot,” said Win Khaung, the national police chief. “It’s because the SEA Games are coming soon, and it’s for the tourists.”

Burma has seen a rapid rise in tourists since the former military regime handed power to a quasi-civilian government two years ago, and the country is set to host the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), a major regional sporting event, in December.

“We want visitors who come to our country to stay peacefully. We do not want anything to happen to them,” the police chief said.

He added that security concerns were raised after a Buddhist holy site in neighboring India was bombed last month.

After the series of blasts at Bodh Gaya temple in northern India, Burma’s government tightened security in the country, especially at Buddhist sites. Police were stationed at Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, Mandalay’s Maha Myat Muni Pagoda, and the ancient temple complex of Pagan.

Some Indian media reported that the Bodh Gaya bombing was conducted by radical Muslim groups seeking to avenge violence committed against Muslims in Buddhist-majority Burma.

Waves of inter-communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims have rocked Burma since June 2012, killing about 250 people and displacing another 150,000 people, mostly Muslims. The government has been accused of doing little to prevent attacks on the country’s Muslim minorities.


2 Responses to Burma Police Hunt for 3 Muslim Men Suspected of Bomb Plot

  1. The policemen in this photo are very small, thin; and they look not healthy and strong enough to protect the public and properties from well trained, experienced and smart foreign armed personnel.

    Are the citizens of Myanmar and their police and armed forces healthy, fit, smart, strong, skilled, cooperative, and experienced enough to withstand and thwart possible strike in their own land?

    Here are few of many possibilities:
    – trained armed terrorists come in to Myanmar soil and make chaos in the places of their choice
    – trained armed personnel come into Myanmar and arrest a group of Myanmar citizens (the prime minister, other high profile peoples such as monks, famous actors/actresses) and hold them for some purpose; and possibly successfully take the hostage out of Myanmar boundary
    – Some Myanmar citizens operating along side with the foreign terrorist personnel to create unrest and damage to peoples and properties
    – Girls (possibly lacking the knowledge of proper sexual education as well) trapped to become mistresses/lovers/slaves/girlfriends/submissive of manly attractiveness and lured into unlawful activities such as illicit drug trading, handing over the knowledge necessary to perform terrorist acts in Myanmar
    – well trained terrorists perform humiliated acts such as to show that they are actually loved and respected and supported by some Myanmar citizens using tricks and their superior quality above most of Myanmar public
    – foreign sex syndicates operating using Myanmar partners, using Myanmar girls
    – foreign armed groups invade and inflict huge damages to our country using force and/or all other means they have; and then due to some of their highly superior qualities than us some (or many) of us have come to love them out of desires – – – and our country becomes slave society

    We must now decide what kinds of world we want to hand over to our children and their children. If we really want to create a safe, healthy, clean, happier, united, self sufficient and more independent community for our future generations we must work hard on –
    – Mental and physical health and fitness of citizens
    – Diverse and higher quality public education, life skills, sports
    – Production, distribution, consumption of healthy food
    – Environment and community that promote fitness, skills, philosophy of citizens
    – Reduce harmful substances and events such as betel nut chewing, alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, pepsi, coke, harmful cosmetics, all waste making activities, events that unnecessarily consume lot of resources, garbage, etc.
    – Fairly equal distribution of opportunities and rights to all citizens so that they own the affordable ways to discover their own country and become the owners of the information of their land
    – Friendship and love among citizens and different ethnic groups

  2. Intelligence gathering is mind over body; the girth is important, but the gray matter more.

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