RANGOON — Three civilians were killed after a nighttime bomb blast in Chin Shwe Haw, a border town in Burma’s restive Kokang region, according to a local politician.
The blast occurred at a bus stop in the early hours of Dec. 26, according to Haw Shauk Chan. The Lower House lawmaker for Kunlong Township was quick to lay blame for the attack on ethnic Kokang insurgents from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).
“Three men were killed on the blast. It was unlucky for them,” he said. “Everyone know who did it. (The MNDAA) want instability here. This is why they come to cause problems sometimes.”
No-one has been arrested in relation to the blast.
Chin Shwe Haw was one of the towns attacked by the MNDAA in February as the group attempted to regain control of Laukkai, the Kokang capital, six years after it was expelled from the area by the Burma Army. The town was a staging post for tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict across the Chinese border and to Lashio in the southwest.
After regaining control of Laukkai and nearby towns, the Burma Army imposed a nine-month state of emergency in the region, which was lifted shortly after the election.
The MNDAA has continued low level activity around Laukkai and has been engaged in occasional battles with Burma Army troops. The insurgent group claimed to have killed six soldiers during a Dec. 19 clash near the village of Mawdike, with photos released to the Jade Land Kachin Facebook page apparently showing the bodies of dead troops and a seized cache of arms and ammunition.