Army supporters gathered for a pro-junta rally in the junta’s administrative capital of Naypyitaw on Monday morning were the target of a bomb attack, according to the head of the local Defense Force branch of the People (PDF), who claimed responsibility for the attack.
About six people were injured and two vehicles were damaged, local sources told Myanmar Now.
Two explosives went off around 7am near the entrance to Lewe Township. There, junta supporters, including members of the army’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), met at least 10 trucks to ride together for the rally, it said. an eyewitness to Myanmar Now.
The event took place near Uppatasanti Pagoda, a replica of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, about 22 km from where the explosion occurred.
“We felt the ground shake. Everyone became terrified. The soldiers and police got nervous and some ran… At most six must have been injured,” the witness said, adding that he heard someone shouting to get to the nearest hospital.
Another Lewe resident confirmed the loud blast on Monday morning, but Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the number of people injured or the damage caused by the blast.
The anti-junta PDF Naypyitaw, which operates under the command of the shadow national unity government, claimed responsibility for the attack. Ngwe Soe, the resistance force leader, said the PDF had collaborated with another local guerrilla group, but asked not to be named.
“We got information about the pro-military rally in advance and set up two remote control bombs. We triggered them when people gathered for the rally,” Ngwe Soe said.
Naypyitaw is the administrative capital of military-ruled Myanmar as well as the seat of the military council headed by coup leader Min Aung Hlaing.
The pro-junta rally under the theme “Support the peace process and denounce foreign interference” was held with some 400 people for an hour from 8 a.m. despite previous explosions, according to a source present. A number of senior USDP officials led the rally, he said, including party spokespersons Thein Tun Oo and Yin Min Myint Swe as well as former central committee member and MP Hla Swe. .
Armed soldiers were seen guarding the rally in video recordings of the event.
Ngwe Soe of the PDF and a spokesperson for the allied guerrilla group warned junta supporters against similar incidents in the future, as the groups claimed to be monitoring the situation in the capital to carry out further attacks despite the strict security measures taken by the army.
“Those who continue to support the army and Min Aung Hlaing, who terrorize the public in a despicable way, will suffer the same consequences,” the guerrilla spokesman said.