Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Blasts rock city in Myanmar's Rakhine state

Blasts rock city in Myanmar's Rakhine state

One of the explosions injured a police officer, but no other casualties have been reported.

Three bombs exploded Saturday morning in Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state, authorities said.

Security officials also seized three unexploded devices from different parts of the city.

The explosions occurred about 4 the home of the Secretary to the state government, in the office and on the road leading to the beach, said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

Damage was left due to the series of explosions, a local police official told Xinhua.

In recent months, unrest in Rakhine has been concentrated in the state's northern wedge, where a sweeping military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim community last August pushed almost 700,000 refugees across the border to Bangladesh.

The explosions come nearly exactly six months to the day since northern Rakhine was plunged into crisis on August 25 when Rohingya rebels raided police posts, killing at least a dozen officials.

The military has been accused of committing murder and rape against the Rohingyas as well as burning down their homes, actions which the United Nations said might constitute genocide. The violence forced thousands of Rohingya residents to flee across the border into Bangladesh. A township administrator was later found slain in his auto by the side of the road.

David Mathieson, an independent analyst based in Myanmar, said the Sittwe blasts were more likely tied to ethnic Rakhine tensions than the Rohingya crisis, whose epicentre is further north.

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