A 17-year-old boy has died and several more were left injured after a series of blasts hit the Pegu division town of Shwegyin on Monday.
Three separate explosions occurred in different locations around the town, which lies around 150km north of Burma’s economic hub, Rangoon. A Shwegyin resident said that the first went off at 5.30am local time close to a popular gold digging site, where one man was seriously injured.
The second, half an hour later on a road leading to a local army base, killed 17-year-old Htun Linn Naing, while another blast later that morning close to the same gold digging site caused minor injuries to several people.
The Burmese army’s Light Infantry Battalion 57, which operates close to Shwegyin, had put out orders restricting gold digging around Madama creek, near to where two of the explosions happened, although it is not clear whether the two are linked in any way.
No details about the bombings have been released by the Burmese government, who regularly blames attacks against civilians on opposition ethnic armies.
The spokesperson for the Karen National Union, David Thackrabaw, whose armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) has troop deployments in Pegu division, said he knew nothing of the attacks, and that KNLA troops were under orders not to plant explosives in civilian areas.