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Bomb Kills 5 in Rangoon
- Subject: Bomb Kills 5 in Rangoon
- From: waterly@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 14:31:00
Bomb Kills 5 in Rangoon Shrine
Thursday, December 26, 1996 10:01 am EST
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- A bomb exploded near a Buddhist shrine
popular with pilgrims and leaders of the military regime while
investigators were examining damage from a blast two hours
Five people were killed.
There were no casualties in the first explosion in the
cave, where thousands pay homage daily to a relic believed
to be one
of Buddha's teeth.
But the second blast Wednesday night killed five people
18. The man-made cave next to the Kaba Aye pagoda, eight
of Rangoon, was filling with pilgrims at the time, the
newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported today. Myanmar is
name for Burma.
It was not clear how many people were inside. The dead
Red Cross worker, a police officer and two people in a
organization linked to the government, according to the
second officer died later. All of the victims were
believed to be
A monk, six police officers and five pilgrims were among
the newspaper said.
Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, third in command of the ruling State Law
Restoration Council, had visited the shrine just three
hours before the
first explosion. After the second explosion, the cave was
Security was tight today, but worshipers were allowed to
yards away at the pagoda.
The second bomb was believed to have been hidden in a vase.
No claim of responsibility was mentioned in the newspaper
the government blamed the All-Burma Student Democratic
the Karen National Union, two insurgent groups based in
It said the groups were aiming to destroy the relic and
China, the Southeast Asian country's closest ally and
supplier. China lent the tooth relic to Burma.
Security was stepped up today around the Chinese
and official Chinese offices.
Burmese government officials were not available for
official media had blamed the explosions on ``destructive
term usually referring to supporters of pro-democracy
leader Aung San
Suu Kyi's party and alleged communist guerrillas the
regime blames for
whipping up student unrest.
Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent
democracy campaign, and her supporters eschew violence. The
communist party in Burma disintegrated in 1989.
The government has cracked down this month on student
demanding more civil liberties. The student demonstrations
biggest street unrest since the regime gunned down
pro-democracy marchers in 1988.
The Chinese Embassy today issued a statement condemning the
bombings as a ``terrorist action.''
``The bomb attacks on the sacred shrine killing and
innocent people blaspheme the Buddha and go against the
will of the
people,'' the statement read.
The tooth was not damaged, New Light of Myanmar said. It
to be one of two teeth remaining since the Buddha's death
When the tooth arrived in Burma on Dec. 6, it was taken to
the cave in
a chariot drawn by an elephant replete with regalia in the
Burma's ancient kingdom.
The bombing was the first reported in Burma since July 3,
bomb exploded in a park near the U.S. Embassy beneath a
denouncing Burma's pro-democracy movement. No one was injured.
State media blamed ``destructionists'' -- again, referring
to Suu Kyi's