Bomb explosion injures junta supporters ahead of pro-military rally in Naypyitaw

Military supporters gathering for a pro-junta rally in the junta’s administrative capital of Naypyitaw on Monday morning were targeted in a bombing, according to the leader of the local People’s Defence Force (PDF) chapter, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

An estimated six people sustained injuries and two vehicles were damaged, local sources told Myanmar Now.

Two explosives went off at around 7am near the entrance to Lewe Township. There, junta supporters including members of the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) met with at least 10 trucks to drive to the rally together, an eyewitness told Myanmar Now. 

The event was held near Uppatasanti Pagoda, a replica of the famed Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, some 22km from where the explosion occurred.  

“We felt the ground quake. Everyone grew terrified. Soldiers and police became flustered and some ran… A maximum of six must have been injured,” the witness said, adding that he heard someone shouting to drive to the nearest hospital.

Another Lewe local confirmed the loud explosion on Monday morning but Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the number of people injured or the damage caused by the blast.

The anti-junta Naypyitaw PDF, which operates under the command of the shadow National Unity Government, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Ngwe Soe, the resistance force’s leader, said that the PDF had collaborated with another local guerrilla group, but that they asked not to be named. 

“We got information about the pro-military rally in advance and set up two remote-controlled bombs. We set them off when people were gathering for the rally,” Ngwe Soe said.

Naypyitaw is the administrative capital of military-ruled Myanmar as well as where the headquarters of the military council headed by coup leader Min Aung Hlaing is based.

The pro-junta rally under the theme “Supporting the peace process and denouncing foreign interference” was held with some 400 people for one hour beginning at 8am despite the earlier explosions, according to a source who was in attendance. A number of USDP senior members led the rally, he said, including party spokespersons Thein Tun Oo and Yin Min Myint Swe as well as infamous former central committee member and MP Hla Swe.

Armed soldiers were seen guarding the rally in video records of the event.

Both the PDF’s Ngwe Soe and a spokesperson from the allied guerrilla group warned junta supporters against similar incidents in the future, as the groups claimed to be monitoring the situation in the capital to carry out further attacks despite strict security measures taken by the military.

“Those who continue to support the military and Min Aung Hlaing, which are terrorising the public in despicable ways, will have the same consequences,” said the spokesperson of the guerrilla group.

Related Articles

Back to top button