Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese killed in twin bomb blasts in Kokang

Tuesday, 16 February 2010 21:59 Myo Gyi

Ruili (Mizzima) - A Chinese national was killed and eight people were injured when two bombs exploded in quick succession early this morning in Lao Kai, Kokang Special Region No. 1.

A bomb hidden in a garbage dump near the Narcotic Drug Museum in Tone Chein Zone in No. 1 Ward, in busy Lao Kai, exploded at about 7 a.m. Within minutes another bomb exploded near the Military Affairs Security (MAS) office.

On being tipped off regarding planned bomb explosions in Kokang area, seven battalions from the LID 33, seven other battalions from Lao Kai Area Command HQ, No. 1006 Border Guard Force and district police were trained in bomb detection. Security was also tightened and surprise checks were carried out in the region as precautionary measures but despite this the two bombs exploded.

"No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts. The first suspect is the underground unit of U Peng (Peng Kya Shin) and the second are the people brutally suppressed and persecuted during the Kokang military campaign. These people lost everything and their livelihoods were destroyed. They could be the prime suspects. Yet another suspect might be drug traffickers, who are bullied and face extortion by security personnel. Finally, the bomb explosions, despite tight security suggest the junta itself engineered the blasts to justify their oppression and to find a scapegoat," Aung Kyaw Zaw, a military analyst on the Sino-Burma border, told Mizzima.

Rumours in the region say the perpetrators of the bomb blasts on Chinese lunar New Year day is the former Kokang leader Peng Kya Shin and his organization but so far there is no basis to the rumours in terms of clues.

The first bomb blast in Kokang occurred in 2009 near the Chinese architectural style building with a seven-tiered spire-like roof. Today's blast is the second.

Burmese Army troops attacked the Kokang troops led by Peng Kya Shin, Chairman of Kokang Special Region No. 1, in August 2009 on the pretext of raiding a drug refinery and arms manufacturing factory.

But Peng Kya Shin's group said that they were attacked by the Burmese Army after they rejected the junta's plan to convert its troops into the Border Guard Force (BGF).

Peng Kya Shin's troops were defeated and fled to China. The junta appointed Pai Sone Chein as the new Kokang leader and forced him to convert Kokang troops into the BGF at the end of 2009. Pai Sone Chein is the leader of the breakaway Kokang faction and defected to the junta.