Bus conductor killed in Myanmar bomb blast
( dpa ) - A bomb exploded on a passenger bus on the central Yangon-Mandalay highway, killing the conductor, in the latest in a series of violent incidents in the country, news reports said Thursday.
The bombing on Wednesday morning was the fourth such incident to be reported in the past six days. The state-controlled local media have blamed the blasts either on ethnic rebels or on a foreign entity bent on the destruction of the country.
A diplomat who insisted on anonymity said the bombings appear designed to produce fear among the ordinary population of the military ruled nation.
A bigger death toll was avoided because the passengers had gotten off to eat at a cafe near Bago township when the bomb exploded at the rear of the Yangon-bound bus.
The fatality was identified as bus conductor Lwin Soe, 35.
Other bombs have exploded at railway stations in Yangon, in the new capital of Naypyitaw and during an outdoor show at a northern town. Military authorities have claimed that two of the dead, a man and a woman, both ethnic Karen, were carrying bombs that exploded.
The bus that exploded Wednesday had come from Kyaukkyi in the Karen state, where ethnic rebels have been fighting against central ethnic Burman rule for over half a century.
Several other armed minority groups are still involved in struggles against a military regime that has ruled the country since a 1962 coup.
"There are plenty of angry people in Burma (the old name for Myanmar) but there is no tradition of terror bombing. You have to ask who thinks they might gain from this," said the diplomat.