Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Seven suspected "activists" in their 20s and 30s have been arrested in central Rangoon amid a security crackdown following blasts during New Year celebrations. Another youth evaded arrest, police and neighbours said.
About 60 armed police raided the home of the youths at No. 29, Ground Floor, 1st Street, Northern Kunchan Block 4, Kamayut near Hledan junction just after midnight on Saturaday morning. They seized three mobile phones and sealed the room.
Officers at divisional and township police stations confirmed the arrests. They called it a political case but declined to give details as their superiors were handling the matter and that they lacked the authority to release information.
“Some guys were half-naked, just wearing shorts because they [apparently] were asleep” a neighbour told Mizzima.
Sources who requested anonymity for safety reasons told Mizzima the detainees were Bo Bo Thein, Thaung Htike Oo, Tin Tun, Soe Moe Kyaw, Saw Yin Shin, Thaw Zin, Aung Aung. Police continue to search for at least one of the youths, known as Kyaw Maung Oo.
Neighbours close to local authorities said police were monitoring the young men for at least a week prior to the raid.
“They were living here by sharing room rent. I have never heard of their indecent activity or wild behaviour,” a neighbour told Mizzima.
Since three serial blasts in Burma’s commercial capital went off at a pavilion built for Buddhist New Year water-festival celebrations, police investigations and arrest reports are increasing amid a security crackdown gripping the country. Journalist Maung Zeya and his son Sithu Zeya were detained on April 17 for taking pictures at the scene of the explosions on April 15.
A military engineer from the team investigating the blasts told Mizzima three hand grenades thrown into crowds at the pavilion were behind the blasts that killed 10 people, the majority of whom were security personnel from the army and the Home Ministry. About 170 people were injured.