Three Arrested for Attempt to Bomb Rangoon Religious Buildings

Myanmar, Burma, terrorism, bomb attacks, Muslim, Buddhist, conflict, Yangon

Authorities stand outside a madrasa in east Rangoon where 13 Muslim schoolchildren died after a fire in April. (Photo: The Irrawaddy / Steve Tickner)

RANGOON — Police said they arrested three men last week who were preparing to bomb religious buildings in Rangoon. Reportedly, the targets in Burma’s biggest city were mosques.

Min Aung, a police colonel at the Home Affairs Ministry, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the suspects were Burmese nationals, adding that two suspects were ethnic Arakanese from western Burma.

The accused include Khine Ne Lin, 34, from Arakan State’s Mrauk-U Township, Bo Bo, 28, from the Arakan capital Sittwe, and Thein Nyunt, 31, according to Min Aung, who did not elaborate on the origins of the last suspect.

Police acted on a tip-off on Nov. 13 and raided a guesthouse in Rangoon’s Hlaing Thayar Township, the officer said, adding that further investigations led to the arrests on Nov. 16 of Bo Bo in Sittwe and Thein Nyunt in Rangoon’s Hlaing Thayar Township.

Min Aung said the three had been planning to blow up religious buildings in Rangoon, but declined to discuss details of the alleged bomb plot. “It is difficult to state where they got bomb-training as we need to find out more things to find out who are on behind the suspects,” he added.

State-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday that police caught Khine Ne Lin “red-handed making bombs with gunpowder and related materials.”

The suspect, the paper said, “attended a course on mine planting at the border beginning on July 3, 2013. He received two ready-to-use, white colored hand-made mines, one packet of gunpowder and lead colored gunpowder.”

A police official told news agency AFP that religious Muslim buildings had been the target of the foiled plot. “They were planning to plant bombs at mosques, after attending training on the border in Karen State,” the unidentified officer was quoted as saying.

The former capital Rangoon is Burma’s biggest city and home to hundreds of thousands of Muslims, many of who live in the city’s busy downtown area.

Burma’s democratic transition under President Thein Sein’s reformist government has been marred by deadly anti-Muslim unrest. The violence first broke out between ethnic Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslims in 2012 before spreading to other parts of the country this year.

Buddhist mobs have gone on a rampage in Muslim neighborhoods more than a dozen times this year, and tensions between Buddhists and the Muslim minority continue to linger.

Last month, a spate of unexplained bomb blasts and attempted bombings added to ongoing tensions. The blasts killed three people and injured several others.

Several of the bomb blasts occurred in Rangoon. One explosion happened in the upscale Traders Hotel, where one American tourist was wounded.

Police later arrested several suspects, including a man from Karen State, who they alleged had been planning to bomb the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.

7 Responses to Three Arrested for Attempt to Bomb Rangoon Religious Buildings

  1. That’s the makeup story. I don’t believe

  2. The Burmese Government of the day (headed by whether President Thei Sein or Hluttaw Chairman Shwe Mann or World figure DASSK) needs to recall two important myths here:

    1. Muslims of Western Burma are terrorist or potential terrorist: It is just prejudice. Unlike other border areas, there was no recorded combact military causality (except accidentally drunk or motor vehicle accident) in Western Frontier since 1960. This peaceful buffer area should be attributed to those Muslims.

    2. Muslims of Western Burma are not loyal to Burma: In fact, these Muslims are very humble and very loyal to the country they were born. Those military personals and civil servants posted those area would know better. In fact their sister community, bona fide ethnic “Taing Yin Tharr” are the one never showed any loyalty on the country and started committing terrorism. Sharing same religion ( of Buddhism) does not necessarily mean they are loyal for the union or for the sovereignity

    If any Burmese government willing to give unconditional advantage to the terrorising gangs of ethnic “Taing Yin Tharr” in Arakan, it will just be creating another headache in Western Burma and the sovereignty and the union may be at stake. Although Muslims of Arakan makes headlines worldwide, what they want is not more than their nationality recognition and basic livelihood.

  3. Ha Ha Ha,
    First govenment mentions fire from electric meter box. Now Bomb. Everybody knows source of fire.

  4. Who all are behind this kind of terrorist action and planned to make problem Muslims and Buddhist mass, the authority should talk in to international media frankly?

    This is not a small game, as far as our presumption in concerned. Politicians, cronies and many peoples from inside the country; ex-military officers and many others are involved making trouble shooting within the countries to destroy Thein Sein reforms plan.

    Why not General Ne Win Revolutionary Council eara and Ma Sa La party times such kind of communities trouble shooting never happend? One event was created by General New Win himself, violence between Chinese and Bama ethnic majority, this event had to be made to have benefits for his stability in power.

    The best period during General Ne Win era was 1962 to 1974 which was the period of revolutionary council; after the formation of BSPP party, the communist block inside the said party had been destroyed for the fall dawn.

    Now again inside the party in power has power struggle, so some of the group is at the back playing this game to make trouble for the fall dawn of Thein Sein. That is why every body must take care of them self and stay away from the trouble shooting.

  5. Oh my God! I cannot believe my eyes. How can, the most peace loving people on the earth do this. As per news and media of Burma, only Muslims and Christian are capable of doing this kind of work . But not the followers of Buddha. Burmese Monk Wirathu was praised by President Thein Sein as son of Buddha and said could not preach hate speech. Hmu Zaw Burmese ex- president’s spoke man once wrote as Al Qeada were crossing from Bangladesh. They painted as all problems in western Arakan state were initiated by Rohingya Muslims. So now Rakhines are going to show their capability. Do not under estimate them. Wait and see.

  6. For the sake of genuine peace and tranquility among the citizens of Myanmar someone in the top post who is brave and honest enough has to expose the responsible culprits by whom the dirty games are played. Otherwise the foundation and structure of democracy which has been building at the cost of so many lives of students,ordinary people and civil servants for nearly 60 years will be collapsed and ruined before it takes shape. The deep scars inflicted by communal clashes, killings and orchestrated by quasi military government must be stopped at any cost and truth must be prevailed.


    Is Catching Up

    As my English Teacher

    Mrs Shapp(left Burma for Australia) use to say……

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