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Student group blamed for Rangoon bombings, 1 held


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese junta revealed it had arrested an electrical engineer on suspicion of carrying out the water-festival bombings a week after the grenade attacks in Rangoon last month that killed 10 people and injured 170. It accused the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors of responsibility for the explosions.

Phyo Wei Aung, 31, from Sanchaung, Rangoon, was arrested one week after the bombings, Burmese national police chief Brigadier General Khin Yi told members of the press in Naypyidaw today.

bomb-x20-press2sThree members of the secretive Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (VBSW) hurled three bombs into the crowd on April 15 at X2O Thingyan pavilion and Phyo Wei Aung performed his picket duty on that day, Khin Yi claimed, adding that three are still at large.

According to a police statement, the engineering diploma graduate and father of a son and a daughter, Phyo Wei Aung, visited the VBSW camp in Mae Sot, Thailand twice last year for bomb training.

Police said that while he was working at Sakura Construction Company as an engineer in 2006 in South Okkalapa, Rangoon, Phyo Wei Aung had become acquainted with Thura Zaw, a.k.a. Thi Ha Zaw, a member of the VBSW. They had worked together on contract jobs, police said.

The police also claimed they had found an unexploded bomb that was to be triggered by mobile phone at the scene on the day of the three serial blasts that killed 10 people, including a high ranking military officer, and injured 170.

But the police also linked other émigré armed opposition groups to the blasts.

“They said that the bombs were exploded by members of VBSW, the student of ABSDF. The guardian of this ABSDF is DAB, whose godfather is [the] NCUB. The chairman of the NCUB is [the] KNU, they said”, a journalist who attended the press conference told Mizzima, quoting generals referring to the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, the Democratic Alliance of Burma, the National Council of the Union of Burma, the Karen National Union.

On October 1, 1999, five armed members of the previously unknown VBSW group stormed Burma’s Bangkok embassy and took 89 hostages, according to the BBC and the Encyclopaedia of Terrorism. They demanded the junta free all political prisoners and enter talks with the NLD, whose leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, condemned the raid.  The five gunmen released their hostages the next day and were allowed to flee to the Thai-Burma border by helicopter in a deal with the Thai authorities. They found sanctuary with the God’s Army faction of the KNU close to the border.

On the fate of journalist Maung Zeya, 55, and his son Sithu Zeya, who were arrested on April 17 for allegedly taking photographs of the blast scene, the police said they had been detained on suspicion of participating in the bombings and that they would be released when they were cleared of the allegations.

Meanwhile, police said bombs used in blasts at the Myitsone dam project site near Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, were identical those owned by the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), which has rejected the junta’s offer to accept KIO troops into the Burmese Army’s Border Guard Force.


Last Updated ( Friday, 07 May 2010 12:22 )  

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