A bomb blast at a popular Yangon hotel injured an American woman who had to be hospitalized, sources said on Tuesday.

The explosion on Monday followed a series of unexplained blasts in the former capital and neighbouring towns.

The 43-year-old woman suffered minor injuries to her arms and legs, Traders Hotel general manager Phillip Couvaras said.

“She is not seriously injured and is now in hospital,” he said, adding the hotel was working with local authorities to find out how the explosion happened.

The victim’s husband and two children, aged 8 and 5 years old, were not injured, a police officer said.

Traders Hotel, located in Yangon’s central business district, is popular among visiting businessmen, diplomats and upmarket tourists. The blast occurred on Monday night in room 921 on the ninth floor of the 22-storey hotel.

“We’re checking the hotel’s CCTV to get know who was in and out of that room before the blast,” a senior police officer said.Police said they were investigating a Myanmar national who had used the room earlier.

Monday’s explosion was the latest in a series of unexplained bombs in Myanmar. On Friday a bomb in Taungoo, in the Bago region to the east of Yangon, killed two people, and on Sunday a bomb detonated at a bus station in Yangon, injuring two children, police said.

On Monday, police removed four hand-made bombs in Yangon and two neighbouring towns.

The government has blamed past explosions on the country’s many armed insurgent groups, but ceasefire agreements have been signed with some 14 groups over the past two years.

Police sources downplayed the likelihood of insurgents being behind the recent blasts.

“We don’t think the ethnic insurgencies are responsible because we believe they are very eager to create a peaceful condition,” said a senior Yangon police office who asked to remain anonymous. “We assume some trouble makers want to create the impression that Myanmar is not a safe place to visit because many tourists will visit our country for the South—East Asia Games,” he said.Myanmar will host the games for the first time in December.

“We don’t know exactly (who is responsible) but we guess the bombs might be related to Myanmar’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2014,” said Aung Min, minister to the President’s Office.

Myanmar, which has shed its former pariah status since an elected government came to power in March 2011, will for the first time host the annual summits of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year.


Bomb blasts in eastern Myanmar kill oneOctober 17, 2013

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