Explosion Kills Army Major’s Wife in Myanmar’s Buthidaung Township

An explosion in in western Myanmar’s war-devastated Rakhine state on Tuesday morning killed the wife of an army major at their home in Buthidaung township, amid ongoing hostilities between government forces and the rebel Arakan Army, a local official and a military officer said.

Nan Moh Moh Zaw and her husband Major Kyaw Swar moved to the military’s No. 15 Operational Command in Buthidaung on Monday from Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw after he was assigned to the new command post.

“It is correct that a major’s wife was killed by a bomb attack at the No. 15 Military Operational Command in Buthidaung, but we don’t know the details,” said Buthidaung township administrator Kyaw Min Htun.

A military officer who declined to give his name also confirmed the death of the major’s wife to RFA’s Myanmar Service, but said he could not provide details because of security reasons.

Buithdaung is one of several northern Rakhine townships where the Myanmar military has engaged in clashes with Arakan Army (AA) troops in recent months.

AA spokesman Khine Thukha said the Rakhine fighters had nothing to do with Nan Moh Moh Zaw’s death.

“That case is not connected to AA,” he told RFA. “We have heard a woman was killed at the No. 15 Military Operational Command, but it is baseless and unacceptable to blame someone or an organization because it occurred in a military compound. We have never hit civilian targets.”

The recently wed couple was transporting their belongings in a private vehicle while they traveled in another car from Naypyidaw to Buthidaung.

Two men in neighboring Rathedaung township stopped a truck transporting the couple’s belongings, and six others in plainclothes searched the vehicle, according to the online journal The Irrawaddy.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told the publication that he assumed that the men planted an explosive device in their belongings, which later detonated when Nan Moh Moh Zaw checked them after they had been unpacked.

Kyaw Swar was on duty in his office at the time of the explosion.

Fighting in Rakhine and in neighboring Chin state has claimed a number of other lives, both military and civilian, and displaced about 7,000 civilians.

Myanmar military Major Aung Ko Nyein was killed in Buithdaung on Feb. 22 during a clash between government forces and the AA.

Ye Ye Soe, an 18-year-old resident of Min Bu village, died on Feb. 21 when she was struck in the face by gunfire by Myanmar soldiers.

Reported by Nay Rein Kyaw for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.