Bomb attacks in Myanmar shake investors’ confidence

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trader hotel yangonA series of bomb attacks on top hotels in Myanmar has frightened the local business community and the hordes of investors who flocked into the country to tap opportunities in Southeast Asia’s “last frontier”.

One explosion in a series of at least six blast at strategic locations across the country hit the Trader’s Hotel in Yangon, part of the Shangri-La hotel chain. It was just before midnight on October 14 when the crude time-bomb exploded in the ninth-floor guest room of the luxurious hotel in Myanmar’s biggest city, badly wounding an American tourist and showering the streets below with glass.

Soon after the bomb went off at the Traders in Yangon, another device exploded in the parking lot of the Shwe Pyitsone Hotel in Sagaing region and another at a pagoda, police said. There were no casualties. On October 11, an explosion killed two people in a guesthouse in the town of Taungoo, about 55 kilometers from the capital Naypyitaw.

The bomb attacks are the latest violence in a year that has seen the euphoria over democratic reforms give way to sectarian attacks that have spread across Myanmar. Police and diplomatic sources, however, said it was not clear if the blasts were connected to religious unrest.

The government alleged that an unidentified person or group may be committing the attacks to tarnish the country’s new, improved image.

“These are deliberate acts to create panic, but the people should be cautious not to fall into the trap,” opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters. She said it’s very important for authorities “to urgently expose the perpetrators”.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said that he thinks that “the explosions may have been timed to coincide with Myanmar becoming the chair of ASEAN [the country takes over on January 1, 2014].”

Myanmar is also preparing to host the Southeast Asian Games in December 2013 the region’s largest sports event.

Myanmar has been hit by bombings before. Three explosions during a traditional new year festival in 2010 killed at least 10 people. In 2005, three bombs at a convention center and at markets killed 23 people. Authorities blamed the 2005 bombing on ethnic rebel groups and a government in exile.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A series of bomb attacks on top hotels in Myanmar has frightened the local business community and the hordes of investors who flocked into the country to tap opportunities in Southeast Asia’s “last frontier”.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

trader hotel yangonA series of bomb attacks on top hotels in Myanmar has frightened the local business community and the hordes of investors who flocked into the country to tap opportunities in Southeast Asia’s “last frontier”.

One explosion in a series of at least six blast at strategic locations across the country hit the Trader’s Hotel in Yangon, part of the Shangri-La hotel chain. It was just before midnight on October 14 when the crude time-bomb exploded in the ninth-floor guest room of the luxurious hotel in Myanmar’s biggest city, badly wounding an American tourist and showering the streets below with glass.

Soon after the bomb went off at the Traders in Yangon, another device exploded in the parking lot of the Shwe Pyitsone Hotel in Sagaing region and another at a pagoda, police said. There were no casualties. On October 11, an explosion killed two people in a guesthouse in the town of Taungoo, about 55 kilometers from the capital Naypyitaw.

The bomb attacks are the latest violence in a year that has seen the euphoria over democratic reforms give way to sectarian attacks that have spread across Myanmar. Police and diplomatic sources, however, said it was not clear if the blasts were connected to religious unrest.

The government alleged that an unidentified person or group may be committing the attacks to tarnish the country’s new, improved image.

“These are deliberate acts to create panic, but the people should be cautious not to fall into the trap,” opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters. She said it’s very important for authorities “to urgently expose the perpetrators”.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said that he thinks that “the explosions may have been timed to coincide with Myanmar becoming the chair of ASEAN [the country takes over on January 1, 2014].”

Myanmar is also preparing to host the Southeast Asian Games in December 2013 the region’s largest sports event.

Myanmar has been hit by bombings before. Three explosions during a traditional new year festival in 2010 killed at least 10 people. In 2005, three bombs at a convention center and at markets killed 23 people. Authorities blamed the 2005 bombing on ethnic rebel groups and a government in exile.

 

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