Karen army denies Naypyidaw train blast

A time-bomb that exploded on a train close to Burma’s capital was not the work of the opposition Karen National Liberation Army, its general secretary said today in response to accusations by the Burmese government.

Two died and a further seven were injured yesterday evening as the train passed through Tatkone township, close to Naypyidaw in central Burma, the city built in 2006 to house the hermetic government.

A Burmese government official said shortly afterwards that “we assume KNU insurgents plotted it,” referring to the political wing of the KNLA, the Karen National Union.

The general secretary of the KNU, Zipporah Sein, told DVB today that its personnel had no involvement in the attack.

“It is not the KNLA – our troops cannot go near Naypyidaw, they just stay in the Karen state border area,” she said, adding that it was hard to tell who would have planted the bomb given the escalating tensions between the Burmese government and a number of ethnic armed groups.

The KNU has in the past accused the Burmese government of being behind such attacks aimed at stirring up public animosity against the opposition army, which has been fighting the regime for more than six decades.

Zipporah Sein said that the group has “a clear policy that we do not target civilians, only the Burmese army”.

Relations between the central government and border-based armed insurgent groups appear to be worsening. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) warned yesterday that it would retaliate with force to any signs of conflict from the Burmese army, which is looking to rout the country’s armed resistance.

Both the KIA and the KNU belong to the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a umbrella alliance of 15 ethnic armies formed in February this year.

Leave a reply