Three Hurt in Kachin State Bomb Blast

By Lawi Weng 25 April 2012

Three people have been wounded after a bomb blast in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, on Wednesday morning.

The explosion occurred at around 7:20 am near to the public hospital in the city, in northernmost Burma. Government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have been engaged in violent clashes in the area since a 17-year ceasefire broke down last June.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy by phone, a local nurse from the hospital said that two men and one young girl were hurt in the blast. The male victim received injures to his face and all three are currently receiving treatment at the facility, she added.

A police officer in Myitkyina told The Irrawaddy that the local authorities do not currently know who is responsible for the attack but his team is going to investigate the site soon.

Burmese state media has already blamed the KIA for the incident, but the Kachin rebels have strongly denied any involvement as the explosion intended to cause harm to innocent civilians.

The blast comes just days after the Kachin Independence Organization, the KIA’s political wing, refused an offer from the Burmese government for further peace talks in Myitkyina.

This is the third such explosion in Myitkyina this month. The KIA threatened to attack the city after the new year Thingyan water festival last week. During the festival, one bomb blew up near to the entrance of the city causing a celebration concert to halt.

Fighting between government troops and the KIA has been ongoing for almost one year and there is still no peace agreement in sight despite the adversaries holding three rounds of negotiations.

Fierce clashes have forced around 70,000 civilians, including many women and children, to flee their homes and live in temporary camps by the Sino-Burmese border, according to humanitarian relief agencies.