‘Victims killed by own bomb’

Not giving up: Anti-junta protesters marching during a demonstration in Hpakant, Kachin state. — AFP

THE five people killed in an explosion in Myanmar this week, including an ousted lawmaker, had been building a bomb, media controlled by the military junta said.

Since the military seized power and ousted an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 1, Myanmar has seen an increasing number of small blasts in cities and towns, some targeting government offices and military facilities.

There have been no claims of responsibility.

The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said yesterday that security forces had searched the scene of the Monday afternoon blast in the central Bago area and found wire, batteries and a damaged phone and phone parts.

The newspaper said the explosion of the “homemade mine” killed four men on the spot, including an ousted lawyer maker from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, while another man died of his injuries in hospital.Suu Kyi, 75, has been detained since the coup along with many members of her party.

Independent Myanmar media outlets reported on Tuesday that the five casualties included the ousted lawmaker, police officers who had joined a civil disobedience movement opposing military rule and a resident.

The military has blamed people bent on destabilising the country for the series of blasts.

The junta said it had to seize power because its complaints of fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s party were not addressed by an election commission that deemed the vote fair.

Meanwhile, Myanmar’s junta-controlled media announced a ban on satellite television receivers on Tuesday, saying outside broadcasts threatened national security and threatening to jail anyone caught violating the measure.

With mobile Internet access largely cut off in a bid to quell anti-junta protests, Myanmar has increasingly appeared headed back to the state of isolation that preceded a decade of democratic reforms.

“Satellite television is no longer legal. Whoever violates the television and video law, especially people using satellite dishes, shall be punished with one year of imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 kyat (RM1,305), ” MRTV state television said.

“Illegal media outlets are broadcasting news that undermines national security, the rule of law and public order, and encouraging those who commit treason.”

There have been daily protests and a surge of violence since the coup with security forces killing more than 760 civilians, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners rights monitoring group. — Agencies

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