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Two More Bombings Kill 1, Wound 6 in Burma

Two explosions in Burma have killed one and wounded six in eastern Shan state, the latest in a series of small-scale bombings in the Southeast Asian country.

Police say they are still investigating the explosions, which occurred early Thursday in the town of Namkham, not far from Burma's border with China.

Several minor bombings and attempted bombings have taken place across Burma in the past week. The most notable was an attack on a prestigious Rangoon hotel that wounded an American woman.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the bombings, including one whose name, Saw Myint Lwin, is widely recognized as being ethnic Karen (KA-rin) in origin.

Burmese newspapers quote a senior Rangoon police official as saying at least one of the suspects has confessed and said they were acting under orders from the Karen National Union (KNU), a rebel group that signed a cease-fire with the government last year.

But a senior KNU official told VOA's Burmese service that his group does not have anything to do with bombings.

"We also consider this as our responsibility to find out the truth. We therefore will cooperate with the government in the investigation to find out the perpetrators if the government asks for it. Then we will take actions (on the culprits) accordingly. This is the attitude of the Central Committee of KNU."

Bomb explosions, many of them minor, were frequent during the decades when Burma was tightly controlled by military rulers. Such incidents have become rare during the two years since the military handed power to a nominally civilian government.

The U.S. Embassy in Burma on Thursday condemned the attacks, saying they "have no place in a civilized society" and expressing confidence that authorities can deal with such "acts of terror."

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.)