19 May 2011

Bomb kills two near Myanmar capital: Official

YANGON - A bomb blast on a train near Myanmar's capital left at least two people dead on Wednesday during a visit by a US envoy for talks with the new government, a Myanmar official said.

'It was a time bomb. We assume KNU insurgents plotted it,' said the government official, referring to the Karen National Union whose armed wing has been fighting the government in a decades-old ethnic insurgency.

'Two people including a woman were killed and seven others were injured in the bomb blast,' which occurred in the early evening in Tatkone township in the Naypyidaw area, said the official, who did not want to be named.

The explosion came shortly after Joseph Yun, the deputy US assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific affairs, arrived in Myanmar for talks with officials including Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin in Naypyidaw. Mr Yun is also expected to meet with democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi during his four-day visit to the military-dominated country.

US President Barack Obama's administration in 2009 launched a drive to engage with Myanmar's junta, which in March this year made way for a nominally civilian government after the first election in 20 years.

Washington has voiced disappointment with the results of the dialogue and refused to ease sanctions after the November poll, which was marred by complaints of intimidation and fraud. -- The Straits Times

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