Four time bombs found in internet cafe in Rangoon, Burma

FOUR time bombs were found and defused this week at a hotel in downtown Rangoon, Burma’s state-controlled press reported today.

Thanks to a “duty-conscious citizen”, authorities found two suspicious-looking packages on Wednesday under a table in an internet shop at a hotel, the Myanma Ahlin newspaper said. The bomb squad defused the four explosive devices and were looking for the “terrorists who planted the bombs”, it said.

The explosives were discovered as the country copes with the political aftermath of its first election in two decades and the freeing of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi last week.

Though terrorism is rare, several bomb blasts have rocked Burma this year, including three in Rangoon that killed nine people and wounded 170. The military government usually blames exiled opposition groups for such incidents.

The newspaper warned that terrorists and unscrupulous elements are carrying out destructive acts to harm the public, and authorities urged citizens to inform them of any suspicious activities.

Burma held a general election on November 7 and results so far released showed the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development party gaining a majority of seats, including Prime Minister Thein Sein and the junta’s top members.

The victory is a clear sign that the military, in civilian guise, will continue to control the country for the foreseeable future.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released on Saturday from seven and a half years in detention after her latest period of house arrest expired.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Suu Kyi called her detention illegal and said she was released not as a goodwill gesture by the junta, but simply because her sentence had ended.

Suu Kyi’s party won the 1990 election in a landslide, but was not allowed by the army to take power. It boycotted this year’s polls, alleging the vote was conducted under unfair and undemocratic conditions.

Suu Kyi has been in jail or under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years, and her ability to mobilise supporters is viewed as a threat by the junta.

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