The Myanmar parcel bomb blasts kill five, including the ousted legislature: media By Reuters

(Reuters) – At least one package bomb explosions in Myanmar have killed five people, including a fallen lawmaker and three police officers who had joined a civil disobedience movement against military rule, media reported Tuesday.

Since the elected government, led by Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, was overthrown in a coup on February 1, Myanmar has seen an increasing number of small explosions in residential areas, sometimes targeting government offices or military facilities.

The most recent explosions occurred in a village in the south-central part of Myanmar in West Bago and occurred around 5 p.m. on Monday, the news portal Myanmar Now reported, citing a resident.

Three explosions were triggered when at least one package bomb exploded in a village house, killing a regional lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy (NLD) party, as well as the three police officers and a resident.

Another police officer involved in the civil disobedience movement was also badly wounded after his arms were blown off by the explosion. He was admitted to the hospital and is being treated, it said.

Khit Thit’s media also covered the explosions and quoted an unnamed NLD official in the area.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports, and a military spokesman did not answer a call for comment.

The violence has increased since the coup. Hundreds were killed by security forces trying to quell pro-democracy protests in cities and rural towns. Ethnic militias have also supported the opposition to the junta, and the military is fighting these groups on the outskirts of Myanmar.

On Monday, the Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic rebel group, said it shot down a military helicopter as fighting increased in the country’s northern and eastern border regions.

Domestic media also reported that a junta-appointed local administrator was stabbed to death in the capital, Yangon.

The police and military did not respond to requests for comment.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group says security forces have killed at least 766 civilians since the coup. The junta denies the number, saying at least 24 members of the security forces were killed during the protests. Reuters is unable to screen victims as the junta put the media on curbs. Many journalists are among the thousands who have been arrested.

The junta said it must take power because its complaints of fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s party were not handled by an electoral commission, which believed the vote was fair.

75-year-old Suu Kyi has been imprisoned along with many other members of her party since the coup. According to the AAPP, more than 3,600 people are currently in custody for opposing the military.

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