Explosions rock Myanmar's capital, two other towns

Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:10pm GMT

By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON (Reuters) - Four explosions rocked Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, and two other towns on Friday, residents said, adding several people were wounded but no one had been killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility or response from the authorities. Myanmar's government usually blames bombings on ethnic minority rebels.

The first three blasts went off within minutes of each other in three different places.

The first suspected bomb exploded in a jeep in Mandalay, the country's second-biggest city after the former capital, Yangon, at about 12:10 p.m. (0540 GMT).

The incident happened near Zaygyo Market, a major shopping centre in the central city, about 400 miles (640 km) north of Yangon.

"We heard the car was badly damaged and four people were wounded," a shopkeeper told Reuters by telephone from the town, adding the market was closed, otherwise the number of casualties would have been higher.

A bomb was also blamed for an explosion in an unoccupied house opposite a market in Naypyitaw, the new capital about 205 miles (330 km) north of Yangon, at about 12:20 p.m. (6:50 a.m. British time).

"It was very powerful. We all heard a very loud explosion," said a government official who had been in a bookshop near the market at the time.   Continued...

<p>People take picture of a damaged car after a blast in Mandalay June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer</p>
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