You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Myanmar

  • Myanmar finds rape case causing unrest was faked
    YANGON, Myanmar – Authorities in Myanmar announced Sunday that the alleged rape of a Buddhist woman by two Muslim men that triggered religious violence in the central city of Mandalay was fabricated.
  • 700 protest South Korean factory closure
    YANGON, Myanmar – More than 700 workers protested Thursday in front of the South Korean Embassy in Myanmar to demand officials help them after a Korean-owned factory closed without paying their wages.
  • US says Myanmar resorting to police-state tactics
    The State Department’s top human rights official is accusing Myanmar authorities of resorting to police-state tactics after five journalists from a weekly magazine got 10 years at hard labor for a disputed story about a weapons
Advertisement

Explosion during Buddhist ceremony leaves 5 wounded in Mandalay

YANGON, Myanmar – A small explosion went off near a firebrand monk as he was giving a sermon in Myanmar’s second-largest city, wounding five people, police and witnesses said Monday.

The blast occurred around 9 p.m. Sunday during a Buddhist ceremony in Mandalay.

Ashin Wirathu – a monk accused of inciting violence with speeches warning that members of the country’s minority Muslim community pose a threat to Buddhist culture and traditions – was unharmed.

“It wasn’t a loud explosion,” said Ma Sandar, a 35-year-old witness. “But it caused some commotion.”

Many people left, she added, but the monk continued his sermon.

Wirathu, leader of the fundamentalist Buddhist group, 969, has called for a boycott of Muslim-owned shops and is pushing for a law that would restrict marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men.

Soaring birthrates, he has warned, mean Muslims, who today make up just 4 percent of the population, could one day become a majority in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people.

Wirathu's sermons have been largely blamed for violence by Buddhist mobs that have left more than 250 people dead – most of them Muslims – and sent another 140,000 fleeing their homes in the last year.

A police officer, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Sunday night’s explosion went off under a parked car. Wirathu was about 60 feet away at the time.

Five people were treated for minor injuries, the officer said.

There was no claim of responsibility and Wirathu could not be reached for comment Monday.

Advertisement