Friday, 23 April 2010

$1000 offered to catch Rangoon bomber

Published: 22 April 2010
A substantial reward has been offered by the Burmese government to the person who can pinpoint the culprit behind a series of grenade attacks in Rangoon last week that left 10 people dead.
Burmese media announced earlier this week that a tenth fatality had been confirmed, that of 19-year-old Soe Moe Htun, who had been in hospital since the blasts occurred on 15 April whilst thousands were celebrating the annual water festival. More than 170 were reportedly injured.
The Rangoon-based Biweekly Eleven News agency said today that a one million kyat ($US1,000) reward was being offered, a hefty sum in a country where the average annual wage is $US220.
According to sources in Burma, a graphic designer, Maung Maung Zeya and his son Sithu were also arrested and interrogated after taking photographs of the bomb site at the X20 pavillion, close to Kandawgyi lake in downtown Rangoon.
The two are accused of having links to foreign media, something eyed with great suspicion by Burmese authorities. Other foreign news correspondents had their camera’s memory cards seized by authorities.
State newspapers have pointed the finger at several opposition groups, including the Karen National Union (KNU) and the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF).
Rumours have also circulated that the attack was aimed at Nay Shwe Thway Aung, the grandson of junta supremo Than Shwe, who had been at the pavilion shortly before the incident.
“He arrived at the pavilion the day the blasts occurred; people were excited when they learned about his presence,” a Rangoon youth told DVB.
“He was later escorted back. The first bomb exploded after he left but not a lot of people were hurt. However, there were dead bodies and brains splattered all over the front of the pavilion when the second bomb went off.”
While the majority of news outlets have said the attack was carried out using grenades, to sources in the military said that bomb, made out of mobile phone handsets were used.
Military analysts said that such equipment is only available in the army but not among civilians.

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