Ten explosions hit Kokang capital

Oct 26, 2009 (DVB), More than 10 simultaneous blasts hit Burma's northeastern Shan state last week, the site of heavy fighting earlier this year between government troops and an ethnic army.

The explosions happened in Laogai, the capital of the Kokang special region in Shan state, sources located near to Burma's border with China said.

Five government army battalions had been deployed there following heavy fighting in August that pushed some 37,000 civilians across the border into China.

The number of casualties from the blasts is so far unknown. One device exploded on Saturday close to a gold shop owned by the current leader of the ethnic Kokang army, Bai Xuoquan.

Government troops launched an offensive against the Kokang group, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), in August this year, breaking a 20-year ceasefire agreement.

The MNDAA had been resisting pressure from Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to transform into a border guard force prior to the 2010 elections.

The fighting sparked tension between Burma and China, with Beijing warning the Burmese junta to ensure peace along its shared border. Chinese premier, Win Jiabao, said on Sunday that he felt confident that Burma "could properly handle" problems with stability in the region.

Meanwhile, one man was killed and two women were injured last week when a hand-grenade accidentally exploded in Burma's border town of Myawaddy, according to the Karen Information Centre (KIC).

The owner of the grenade was a member of the pro-junta Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), who was visiting a friend's house at the time. He is now in hiding, while the two women are being treated in hospital. The identity of the victim is unknown.

Reporting by AKT and Thurein Soe

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