Bomber kills Kachin orphans, refugees

At least 10 people have been confirmed dead after a bomber targeted a row of houses in the Kachin state capital of Myitkyina yesterday that were used as shelters for orphaned children.

Local officials said that the blast had also killed the man thought to have been behind the attack, which occurred Sunday evening and left 25 more injured. The motive is unknown.

A member of staff at Myitkyina hospital told DVB that 10 bodies were brought in. The incident came the day after a series of blasts rocked three sites in the town, although no casualties were reported from these.

Two women are believed to have been among the dead on Sunday, the majority of whom were children. The house had belonged to martial arts instructor Deyawng Tangwe, who used his house and two others next door as shelters for orphans and refugees who had fled fighting in Kachin state.

A doctor on duty at Myitkyina hospital said it had received three bodies yesterday evening but refused to comment further.

On Thursday evening a bomber struck a police station in the Shan state town of Namkham, killing a deputy commander and injuring three more, including two civilians.

“A man came on a motorbike and dropped a bag outside our station around 8:40pm,” an officer at the station told DVB. “Some people saw that and informed the station so our supervisor [Zaw Htoo Gun Seng] went out to check it and the bomb exploded before he got to it.”

He said that although darkness prevented police from chasing the culprit, “one thing for sure is that the attack was definitely carried out by an insurgent group”. No one has so far claimed responsibility.

The injured three were initially taken to Namhkam Hospital, but a coordinator there said they would be transferred on account of the seriousness of their wounds.

Houses near the police station were also damaged by the explosion, which officials believed was detonated by a remote device. The bomb was homemade, they said.

Namhkam township has been in the midst of fighting between Kachin Independence Army, which has forces in northern Shan state, and Burmese troops. Police speculated that the attack could be related to the fighting.

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