[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

AFP 7/4

Burma-blast,sched-6thlead : Senior junta official's
                           daughter killed in blast

                           RANGOON, April 7 (AFP) - A parcel bomb exploded
at the home of
                           Lieutenant General Tin Oo, a top general in
Burma's ruling junta,
                           killing his eldest daughter, diplomats and
officials said Monday. 

                           The bomb went off Sunday night in the bedroom of
the general's
                           wife, Khin Than Nwe, who was absent at the time,
a source close
                           to the family told AFP, adding that Tin Oo had
been present in the
                           house but was not injured.

                           The daughter, Cho Le Oo, 33, was speaking on the
telephone in
                           the room and took the full force of the blast,
the source added. 

                           Tin Oo is second secretary of the junta,
officially known as the
                           State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC),
as well as army
                           chief of staff and head of the bureau of special

                           An information sheet from military intelligence
confirmed the
                           "terrorist bomb explosion" and the death of Tin
Oo's daughter. It did
                           not say who the government believed was
responsible for the
                           attack, saying only that an initial investigation
revealed the
                           explosive was a parcel bomb.

                           The US Embassy said it had received confirmation from
                           "competent authorities" that a parcel bomb was
responsible for the

                           People living in the vicinity reported a large
explosion at around
                           8:30 p.m. (1400 GMT Sunday). Security was immediately
                           reinforced around the compound.

                           The family source said Cho Le Oo had received a
telephone call
                           asking if she had found some mail from Japan,
where several
                           members of her family were visiting, among a
stack of unopened
                           letters and parcels in her mother's room.

                           Finding a package with Japanese stamps on it, she
opened it and
                           set off the explosive device, the source said. 

                           Cho Le Oo was married to an army major and had
one son and
                           one daughter, the source said. Her funeral is due
to be held on

                           The bombing came amid stricter security in the
capital ahead of
                           celebrations in the run-up to Burmese New Year on
April 17,
                           following nationwide unrest marked by a score of
attacks against
                           mosques and other Moslem property. 

                           Diplomatic sources in Rangoon said that there
were a large
                           number of soldiers around Tin Oo's compound but
that the
                           situation in the rest of the capital appeared to
be normal given the
                           current security alert.

                           There was no official indication of who might be
responsible for
                           the explosion, but some sources said suspicion
had fallen on
                           ethnic guerrillas of the Karen National Union (KNU). 

                           Tin Oo toured captured KNU bases in southern
Burma last week in
                           the region of Minthamee, near the border with

                           The KNU has said it would consider terrorist
action against strategic
                           military targets in Burmese towns following a
massive SLORC
                           offensive through its enclaves close to the Thai
border which
                           began in February. 

                           However, Mahn Sha, KNU joint first general
secretary, denied that
                           the rebel group was responsible for the attack. 

                           Reached by AFP's Bangkok bureau at the Thai
border, Mahn Sha
                           said he believed the blast was the result of
internal differences
                           within the SLORC. 

                           Other analysts speculated that the attack could
have been launched
                           by Moslem extremists, seeking retribution for a
spate of
                           anti-Moslem attacks by Buddhist monks across the
country last

                           The use of a sophisticated device such as a
parcel bomb was
                           beyond the experience of ethnic opposition
groups, one
                           Rangoon-based analyst said.

                           "It is inconsistent with any terrorist practice
in Burma's political
                           history," the analyst said. "The most intriguing
speculation would
                           be Moslem extremists."

                           While the government blamed last month's unrest
on agitators,
                           many analysts believe the SLORC had a hand in
fuelling the
                           violence, which was ostensibly sparked by an
alleged attempted
                           rape of a Buddhist girl by a Moslem man.