Saturday, September 11, 2010

Myanmar says defused bombs aimed at disrupting Nov poll

Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:14am EDT
YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's ruling military on Saturday blamed insurgent groups for seeking to disrupt November 7 elections by planting explosive devices at a power pylon in an eastern town and a time bomb in central Yangon this week.
Most of the devices found in Thaton, about 150 miles east of Yangon, were defused by bomb disposal squads on Wednesday but one went off wounding an official sent to the scene.
The C-4 bomb was found at a central market in Yangon on Thursday, it said.
"Insurgents, destructive elements and political opportunists are trying to ramp up instigation and destructive acts with the aim of disrupting the upcoming multi-party democracy election," the official New Light of Myanmar said.
This incident was also arranged in sync with the recent Bago incident in which a brawl among young people ... (turned) into gunfire," the paper said.
Two young men were shot dead by a soldier a week ago in a drunken brawl in Bago, about 50 miles north of Yangon, triggering an uproar among residents, watchdog agencies and the opposition.
Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called on members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which swept Myanmar's last election in 1990 but was never allowed to take power, not to vote in November.
The NLD was effectively dissolved in May after refusing to register for the elections it sees as unfair from the outset.
Official media said on Friday officers and soldiers involved in the Bago shooting would be prosecuted by the government.
There is growing concern among observers that the incident might spark a wide-spread unrest in the country similar to the one in 1988 when a minor teashop brawl between university students and security personnel snowballed into a national pro-democracy uprising against the military.
Witnesses told Reuters on Saturday security was stepped up along a highway between Yangon and Bago. They said all vehicle passengers had their identity cards checked and were required to disembark and walk through checkpoints.

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