Newspaper article International New York Times

Bomb Attacks Unsettle Myanmar ; 9 Blasts and 2 Killed, with Hotels and a Pagoda among the Targets

Newspaper article International New York Times

Bomb Attacks Unsettle Myanmar ; 9 Blasts and 2 Killed, with Hotels and a Pagoda among the Targets

Article excerpt

A series of blasts across Myanmar over the past several days has left two people dead and rattled the country's main city, Yangon.

CORRECTION APPENDED

A series of blasts across Myanmar over the past several days has left two people dead and rattled the country's main city, Yangon. The attacks included a bomb that injured an American visitor at a luxury hotel popular with dignitaries and tourists.

The authorities in Myanmar said that since Friday nine explosions have targeted hotels, a Buddhist pagoda and restaurants in Yangon and two other regions, Bago and Sagaing, north and northeast of the main city.

The blast at the Traders Hotel, one of the best known hotels in Yangon and the former address of some United Nations agencies, occurred just before midnight on Monday, the police said. The United States Embassy said the blast had "seriously injured" the American tourist but that "there is no indication at this time" that the bombs were targeting Americans. The Myanmar news media reported that the wounded American was on vacation with her husband and two young children.

An undetonated explosive device was discovered at a restaurant on Monday in Mandalay, the country's second-largest city after Yangon.

"We think the bomb blasts and bomb alerts in Yangon and Mandalay intentionally attempted to portray Myanmar as not peaceful just as more tourists, more investors and other important guests arrive," U Zaw Htay, a director in the office of President Thein Sein, said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Zaw Htay said the motive of the blasts may have been to scuttle negotiations between minority ethnic groups, the government and the military. The blasts were carried out by "individuals or groups who dislike democracy and development" he said.

The police said that they had arrested four suspects on Tuesday in connection with the explosion at the Traders Hotel but that it was too early to establish why the hotel was targeted. …

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