Three injured guerrilla fighters among 12 arrested after accidental explosion in Yangon

Junta soldiers have arrested 12 people including three injured anti-junta fighters after several bombs exploded by accident in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township on Monday, the leader of an underground guerrilla group told Myanmar Now.

The handmade devices went off while members of the group were handling them at a hostel at around 6pm. The blast tore off one of 19-year-old Kaung Myat’s legs and injured two other people, said the leader, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

He declined to reveal the name of his group for security reasons.

When junta soldiers arrived at the site of the explosion, four more bombs went off and injured some of the troops, he added, though he said he could not give further details.

Soldiers then arrested Kaung Myat as well as seven other people who were not involved in the explosion, including the two owners of the hostel, he said. 

The other two injured guerrillas managed to escape the hostel but were arrested on Tuesday along with their driver, he added. 

Myanmar Now was unable to gather further information on the seven people who were arrested with Kaung Myat.


Kaung Myat was denied access to medical treatment after he was arrested and soldiers interrogated him until at least midnight, the guerrilla leader said, citing intel from informants within the army.

“They were forcing him to expose everyone [connected to the group] without treating his injury. He was bleeding badly,” he said.

The two injured men who managed to flee were spotted the next day riding on the back of a motorcycle near the Shwe Lin Ban market in Hlaing Tharyar. Two vehicles with soldiers inside then rammed into their motorcycle.

Kaung Myat had his leg blown off during an accidental explosion on Monday (Supplied)

The motorcycle driver was also arrested. “We tried to transport the two to a safe place with a motorcycle, mingling with the crowd. The soldiers rammed two vehicles into them, from the front and back,” said the leader.

The troops were plain clothed, armed and wearing bulletproof vests, he said. “None of them were in army uniforms.” 

The two guerrilla fighters were injured in the chest and the leg by the explosion and needed medical attention, he added. “They were already injured and again fell off the motorcycle due to the ramming. It is a worrying situation.”

Another motorcycle driver was taken into custody in Ward 15 of Hlaing Tharyar a few minutes before the three men were arrested. The guerrilla leader said that the driver had nothing to do with the explosion on Monday.

The junta has not released any information about the explosion or the arrests. A military spokesperson and junta authorities in Hlaing Tharyar did not answer calls seeking comment.

The National Unity Government’s Yangon Division Command said its members attacked two military targets, including an office of a military commander, with grenades in Hlaing Tharyar over the weekend. Several soldiers died in the attack.

The fighters then used four handmade bombs to attack a convoy of five military vehicles at the nearby Thamagone traffic junction as they headed towards the site of the first attack, destroying two vehicles, killing two soldiers and injuring six.

Anti-junta guerrilla groups and self-organised People’s Defence Force members rely heavily on handmade explosives and bombs for their attacks. 

There have been several other cases of guerrilla fighters across Myanmar dying in accidents caused by handmade explosives, according to local PDF groups and social media reports. 

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