One dead in Rangoon blast

Mar 27, 2009 (AFP), One person was killed and two others injured in a suspected bomb blast in Burma’s commercial hub Rangoon today, on the eve of the country’s annual military parade, official sources said.

The explosion happened at a guest house in the city’s North Okkalapa township, killing a man and wounding two women, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Military-ruled Myanmar has been rocked by a series of small bomb blasts in recent months, with two small bombs exploding in Yangon in early March, causing minor damage but no injuries.

In a string of explosions late last year, one man was killed in Rangoon in October and two people died in a township outside the city in a video cafe bombing.

Although the country’s ruling junta usually blames armed exile groups or ethnic rebels, it has also pointed the finger at democracy activists.

State-run media in September accused two members of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy of bombing pro-government offices last year.

The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 elections, but the junta never allowed it to take office. Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest almost constantly since.

The military has ruled Burma since 1962, partly justifying its grip on power by claiming the need to fend off ethnic rebellions which have plagued remote border areas for decades.

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