Myanmar’s Commercial Capital Yangon and Mandalay Rocked by Bomb Blasts

By The Irrawaddy 30 August 2021

A series of explosions rocked at least 12 locations in Yangon and Mandalay regions on Monday and Sunday, including offices of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party and the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

On early Monday morning, blasts occurred at around eight locations in five of Yangon’s townships: Insein, Kamayut, Sanchaung, South Okkalapa and North Okkalapa.

Most of the explosions occurred at traffic police booths at junctions in the city. In Insein alone, blasts were reported at four locations including the traffic booths at Pauktawwa, Japan Road and the junction in Gyoegone Ward in Insein Township.

One local resident said that she was woken at 4.50am by the sound of a heavy explosion coming from the junction of Japan Road and Lower Mingaladon Road in Insein Township.

No casualties were reportedly caused by the explosions. But, at midday, junta forces were inspecting all private vehicles and taxis travelling the three bridges – Bayint Naung, Aung Zaya and Shwepyithar – connecting Hlaing Tharyar Township with Insein, Mayangone and Shwepyithar townships, according to local residents.

The NLD’s office in Mandalay Region’s Maha Aung Myay Township was the target of a blast on Sunday evening soon after being raided by junta forces, according to local media.

Members of Pyu Saw Htee groups, which are trained and armed by the military regime, have been accused of being responsible for the explosion, said local media.

The raid and subsequent blast at the NLD office came after the Maha Aung Myay Township office of the military-backed USDP party was targeted by an explosion earlier on Sunday evening. The USDP office was damaged but no casualties were reported.

A blast occurred also near a convoy of junta forces parked near the forest department office in Mandalay Region’s Chanmyathazi Township on Sunday morning.

“The junta convoy was lying in wait for an anti-coup protest. There were some military casualties from the blast,” a Mandalay resident told The Irrawaddy.

An explosion also occurred on Sunday afternoon in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township. The blast occurred while regime forces were arriving in the area to neutralize a bomb found nearby. However, no casualties were reported, according to local residents.

On the same day, U Tin Hlaing, who had been accused of being a junta informant, was assassinated by unknown gunmen while driving with his wife in Yangon’s Hlaing Township. His wife was wounded in the attack.

Armed resistance to the military regime began in late March, following the junta’s lethal crackdowns on peaceful anti-coup protesters.

In response, the regime formed the Pyu Saw Htee groups, which have reportedly been planting bombs in schools and government offices in order to blacken the name of the civilian resistance fighters. A number of anti-regime civilian protesters, including NLD members, have reportedly been killed by the Pyu Saw Htee groups.

Over 1,020 people had been killed by the junta since the February 1 coup as of August 28, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Another 7,630 people, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta or face arrest warrants.

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