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Junta blames ‘terrorist drones’ for Sagaing bombing

A bomb blast in Myanmar’s Sagaing region injured eight locals, junta-backed messaging channels reported Monday.

Pro-military Telegram groups said “terrorist drones” attacked a market in Shwebo township on Sunday morning. They said three children were among the injured.

They said an eight-year-old girl was severely injured after bomb fragments hit her in the neck.

But a local, who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals, told RFA junta troops fired heavy artillery at the market.

“There is U Aung Zeya Palace to the west of Shwebo Market. Kha Ma Ya-42 Battalion was stationed there. They opened fire,” said the local.

“One shell exploded outside the market; the other exploded in the market stall of a greengrocer.

“Two people were hit in the waist and chest. They were sent to Mandalay Hospital,” the local said, adding that those with minor injuries were taken to Shwebo’s public hospital.

Locals said that the market had been temporarily closed and junta troops were searching the neighborhood.

RFA could not confirm either of the reports and Sagaing region’s junta spokesperson, Saw Naing, did not return calls on Monday.

Motorcycle bomb

In another attack Saturday, 12 Shan state residents were injured by a bomb blast outside a jewelry store in Lashio’s township’s market.

A local, who also requested anonymity, said the bomb was planted in a motorbike outside the Zwe Htet store.

“Of the 12 people injured, 11 are jewelry store employees,” the resident said.

“Among them, two men and two women were seriously injured.”

Residents say aid groups took the injured to the local hospital.

They said many stores in the market are closed as the junta has stepped up security in Lashio.

The ruins in front of Zwe Htet jewelry store, photo taken on July 15th, 2023 (Photo_ Citizen Journalist).jpg
Debris outside the Zwe Htet jewelry store, Lashio township, Shan state, where a motorcycle bomb exploded on July 15, 2023. Credit: Citizen journalist

In April a bomb went off near a water festival pavilion in Lashio, killing four people and injuring 11 after People’s Defense Forces warned people not to take part in Water Festival celebrations sponsored by the junta.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blast.

Junta-media was silent on the bombing and Shan state junta spokesperson, Khun Thein Maung, didn’t return RFA’s calls.

Junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said on July 13 that there had been 489 explosions nationwide since the start of this year, resulting in 782 fatalities.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.