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Bombing Postpones Burma Race

Bombing Postpones Burma

                    Friday, December 27, 1996 10:41 am EST 

                    RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
                    Kyi ended three weeks of house confinement today, making
a brief
                    visit to her mother's grave on the eighth anniversary of
her death. 

                    Accompanied by a score of members of her National League for
                    Democracy, Suu Kyi laid a bouquet of gladioluses on the
                    located near Rangoon's holiest shrine, the gilded Shwedagon

                    Meanwhile, a temple compound rocked by two bomb blasts that
                    killed five people Wednesday remained closed today.
Police turned
                    back pilgrims hoping to see a sacred relic believed to be a
                    2,500-year-old tooth of Buddha. Plainclothes officers
jotted down
                    the car registration numbers of people trying to enter. 

                    The military government has blamed the bombings on Burmese
                    insurgents, saying the attacks were intended to harm
                    between Burma and China, Burma's closest ally and
largest arms

                    The military regime has rejected Suu Kyi's appeals for a
                    dialogue and in recent months has steadily tightened
restrictions on
                    her movements. She had not left her home since Dec. 5,
the height of
                    street protests by hundreds of university students
demanding an
                    independent student union and more civil liberties. 

                    Suu Kyi had complained of ``wrongful restraint'' at her
                    and at one point, riot police prevented her from
leaving. She said
                    she would not try again to leave as long as she needed
to seek

                    It was unclear whether the outing today meant she would
be able to
                    come and go as she pleased. 

                    Wednesday's back-to-back bomb blasts at the Kaba Aye pagoda
                    compound were the first sign of unrest since the student
                    were stifled. The first explosion, which injured no one,
came three
                    hours after a visit by a leader of the military regime,
Lt. Gen. Tin

                    Two hours later, a second blast exploded in a manmade
cave inside
                    the compound where the tooth was on display. The
government said
                    a small mine with a timing device caused the explosion. 

                    Two policemen, a Red Cross worker and two others were killed
                    and 17 people injured. The tooth, on loan from China,
was not

                    The government has pinned the bombings on the All-Burma
                    Democratic Front, an exiled students group, and the
Karen National
                    Union, an ethnic insurgent army. But both the groups
accuse the
                    government of staging the attacks to justify a crackdown. 

                    Apparently because of the bombing, the Rangoon marathon
                    scheduled for Dec. 30 was postponed indefinitely for the
                    time. It was first postponed as part of the government's
                    on student protests.