Myanmar says bomb caused Yangon hotel blast

Myanmar says bomb caused Yangon hotel blast

YANGON - Myanmar police said Tuesday a makeshift bomb caused a blast at a luxury Yangon hotel that wounded an American woman, as they questioned several suspects following a series of explosions.

Officials voiced fears that the incidents could be aimed at derailing democratic reforms as the country prepares to host a major regional sporting event in December and chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year.

The American woman was taken to hospital with wounds to her thigh and her hand after the blast ripped through a guest room where she was staying at the Traders Hotel in central Yangon late on Monday, police said.

"It was a time bomb. It was attached to a clock," said a police official who visited the scene.

Officials said they detained a 27-year-old suspect early Tuesday in the southeastern state of Mon. He had previously stayed in the hotel room where the blast occurred.

"A case was opened against him with two charges of breaking the explosives act and causing serious harm to others," the police official said.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged people to remain calm.

"These acts are intentionally instigated against the people. So we should not fall into their trap," she told reporters in Naypyidaw.

The US Embassy in Yangon said it was providing consular assistance to the wounded woman but declined to give any further information. Police said her condition was improving.

Military officials and soldiers with sniffer dogs were seen at the Traders Hotel following the blast while shattered glass covered the road outside.

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