News / Asia

    Bomb Blast Wounds American Tourist at Rangoon Hotel

    • People are reflected in broken glass as they stand in front of Traders Hotel, where an explosion occurred, in central Rangoon, Burma, Oct. 15, 2013.
    • Soldiers inspect a room where an explosion occurred at Traders Hotel in central Rangoon, Burma, Oct. 15, 2013.
    • Hospital staff move an American woman injured by a bomb blast at the Traders Hotel at Rangoon General Hospital, Burma, Oct. 15, 2013.
    • Police patrol near the Traders Hotel after an explosion, Rangoon, Burma, Oct 15, 2013.
    • A police officer takes a close look after a bomb squad found a suspicious looking package in downtown Rangoon, Burma, Oct. 15, 2013.
    Explosion at a Burmese Hotel
    VOA News
    Police in Burma have detained three suspects in connection with a blast late Monday at an upscale hotel in Burma's main city Rangoon. The explosion wounded an American woman and follows a series of suspected bomb blasts that killed two people and injured several others in the past four days.

    Police said a homemade time bomb was to blame for the blast late Monday evening in a guest room on the ninth floor at Traders Hotel in downtown Rangoon.

    The victim, a 43-year-old woman who was visiting Burma with her family, suffered serious cuts in the blast, which blew out glass shards some 20 meters from the hotel building.

    Witness Graeme Romer, a guest at the hotel, said he heard the explosion and rushed downstairs to see what happened. "It sounded like a subdued boom. I wasn't entirely sure so I called reception, and reception said not to worry. So I came downstairs and there was a lady wrapped in bed linen at the bottom of the stairs. She was obviously bleeding profusely," explained Romer.

    Romer said hotel security had been heightened that day, after police issued a warning to remain cautious in the wake of recent bomb blasts.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the other blasts in recent days and police have released few details about them. Media reports say at least two people were killed and several others wounded in the explosions.

    Human Rights Watch researcher for Burma, Dave Mathieson, said the blast at Traders Hotel is significant because it is the first time the international community has been a target of attacks.

    "I think there's certainly patterns in terms of the devices being relatively small and designed to alarm and frighten people more than actually cause injury or death but I think what is different about the pattern of last night's pattern at the Traders Hotel is that it's in a very prominent public landmark where lots of foreigners congregate," said Mathieson.

    Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told Radio Free Asia that the series of bombing may be aimed at causing concern over stability in Burma as it prepares to host the Southeast Asian Games later this year and take over as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014.

    When Burma was under direct military rule, separatist groups and government opponents detonated homemade bombs in populated areas. But until now, such blasts have become rare in recent years.

    WATCH: Related video
    Bomb in Rangoon Hotel Injures American Touristi
    X
    October 15, 2013 7:02 AM
    Police say the blast was caused by a homemade time bomb planted in the ninth floor room in the Traders Hotel, popular with foreign tourists and business people. The blast blew out one of the room's windows, sending shattered glass raining down on the street below.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Keen from: Philippines
    October 16, 2013 11:38 AM
    I think the government should be alarmed by such incident and should take appropriate yet cautious action in preventing these insurgents creating more chaos and causing harm not only to the local people but also to the foreigners...

    by: Keen from: Philippines
    October 16, 2013 11:34 AM
    I've worked in Myanmar few years back and I could say that most of the people there were kind and respectful...The aforementioned incident should be a warning for everybody to be vigilant at all times...I hope this could be a catalyst for the government to implement better counter measures against insurgents, who are creating terror in the whole nation...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora