January 17, 2008 / 2:44 AM / 11 years ago

Man killed in Myanmar bus bomb blast

YANGON (Reuters) - A conductor was killed in Myanmar when a bomb exploded on board his bus, official papers said on Thursday, the fourth such known incident in the army-ruled Southeast Asian nation this year.

State media said the bus had been travelling from the eastern town of Kyaukkyi to Yangon, the former capital, when the device exploded on Wednesday morning.

The New Light of Myanmar, the junta’s official newspaper, blamed the blast on “insurgent destructionists”, its shorthand for the various ethnic groups that have been waging low-level guerrilla wars for the past five decades.

Kyaukkyi is in Karen state, home to the largest of the former Burma’s rebel militias.

A travel agent said the bus had stopped at a service area at the time of the explosion, saving many more lives.

“Fortunately, all the passengers had got off the bus and gone to have breakfast when the bomb went off. Otherwise, casualties would have been very high,” said the travel agent, who asked not to be identified.

The blast is the latest in a string of small bombs since the New Year that have killed two people.

Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Ed Cropley

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