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Burma Explosion Confirmed II

                         Burma Explosion

                         Monday, April 7, 1997 5:51 am EDT

                         RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- A mail bomb exploded in the
                         of a leading member of Burma's military
government, killing his
                         eldest daughter, officials and relatives said

                         A senior military officer confirmed that an
explosion occurred at
                         8:52 p.m. Sunday at the house of Gen. Tin Oo, the
army chief of
                         staff and one of Burma's most powerful generals.

                         Tin Oo was believed to have been the target of a
previous bomb
                         attack at a Rangoon pagoda. On Christmas Eve, two
                         exploded in a temple housing a tooth believed to
have belonged to
                         Buddha, killing five people and injuring 17. The
bomb went off
                         shortly after Tin Oo visited the temple.

                         The officer said Tin Oo was not hurt in Sunday's
explosion, but a
                         member of the general's family confirmed that his
eldest daughter,
                         33-year-old Cho Lei Oo, was killed by what was
believed to
                         have been a mail bomb.

                         A funeral for the mother of two was scheduled for
Tuesday. She
                         was married to a major in the Burmese army.

                         There was no claim of responsibility and the
government did not
                         initially accuse anyone. The government has blamed
                         bombings on communists, rebel groups and
                         leader Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel
Peace Prize.
                         All deny such charges.

                         Two rebel groups -- the Karen National Union and
the All-Burma
                         Students Democratic Front -- told The Associated
Press in
                         Bangkok, Thailand, that they had nothing to do
with the blast. The
                         rebels, under siege in a government offensive,
have never shown a
                         capability in urban terrorism.

                         Man Sha, vice secretary-general of the KNU,
attributed the
                         attack to a rivalry within the ruling State Law
and Order
                         Restoration Council.

                         ``This situation does not concern the KNU. It
concerns the
                         SLORC,'' Man Sha said. ``Inside their army,
they're having more
                         and more power struggles.''

                         Speculation has recently focused on jockeying
between Gen.
                         Maung Aye, a hard-line former field commander who
counts Tin
                         Oo among his allies, and Gen. Khin Nyunt, the
powerful head of
                         military intelligence.

                         A veteran of campaigns against ethnic and
communist insurgents,
                         Tin Oo had threatened in public speeches to
                         opponents of the regime but in general, he rarely
speaks publicly
                         of politics and is a popular commander with the

                         No one answered the telephone today at Suu Kyi's
home. Her
                         political activities have been severely restricted
 since September.
                         A member of her political party, the National
League for
                         Democracy, said her line had been cut.

                         Several soldiers were seen outside the closed
gates of Tin Oo's
                         compound this morning. No damage to the one-story
                         could be seen from the street. Earlier, a couple
dozen soldiers
                         stood guard at the house in a western Rangoon

                         There is already a heavy military presence in
Rangoon and other
                         Burmese cities following recent clashes between
Buddhist monks
                         and Muslims. Tensions between the military
government and its
                         democratic and ethnic opponents are high.

                         The military warned Burmese citizens Sunday to
refrain from
                         political agitation during the upcoming New Year's
 festival. The
                         festivities, which culminate April 17, are
celebrated in large part
                         by citizens dousing each other with water.

                         Rangoon has suffered several bombings the past
year: A small
                         explosive device went off in July underneath a
                         billboard urging citizens to crush the state's
enemies. No one was

                         The Christmas Eve blast at the pagoda that killed
five was blamed
                         by the government on the Karen National Union, a
                         group seeking autonomy from Rangoon.

                         Government opponents, however, accused the
military of planting
                         the bombs as a pretext for a crackdown on the

                                   ? Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

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