The police have arrested the alleged bomber responsible for the bomb blast during a pagoda festival that left one man injured on 28 September 2017.
A motorcycle parked in front of Pan Lay Pyay Shan Restaurant, Sate Tara Mahi Ward, Chanayethazan Township, Mandalay Region, exploded at 9.20 p.m. on 28 September 2017. At the time of the explosion, a pagoda festival was being held in Thone Ze compound Dhammayone. The explosion gutted the motorcycle and left a man with burn injuries on his face, stomach and left thigh. The Chanayethazan Myoma Police Station started an investigation to apprehend the bomber.
A white MICRO (mobile phone) handset (SIM card inside) with red and black wires attached was found at the explosion site, together with scrap iron and plastic pieces. The tests conducted on the materials found at the explosion site showed that chemical compounds were mixed with scrap iron pieces to form an explosive device, which was set off using the hand phone as a detonator.
The phone number from which a call was made to the detonating phone was retrieved from the SIM card call record, and the suspect was found to be Aung Myint Zaw @ Aung Min Zaw @ Hussein, 20, son of U Thein Zaw @ Zarfaw Ali from Mamon Village Phakant Township, Ayezedi Ward, Myitkyina Town. He was absconding but the Myanmar Police Force continued to search for him and finally caught him in Aye Yeik Nyein male boarding house, 67 Street, between 41 and 42 Street, Mahamyaing Ward (1), Mahaaungmye Township at 6.15 p.m. on 3 May 2018.
According to the initial investigation, the suspect was found to be a student attending Mandalay University of Pharmacy, while staying in Shwe Sin Min boarding house in front of the university. In June 2017, he was upset with the pictures and video files being shared on Facebook about the fake and propaganda news about northern Rakhine State. He searched for information online on how to make explosive devices. He bought chemical compounds readily available in the market and successfully conducted small-scale test explosions twice behind the Shwe Sin Min boarding house in August 2017. On the day of the incident, he put the chemical mixture he had prepared, together with the handset and scrap iron pieces, inside a plastic bag, and went to Sate Tara Mahi Ward, Chanayethazan Township, Mandalay Region, where a pagoda festival was being held in Thone Ze compound Dhammayone. At the site, he attached the plastic bag to the handle of a parked motorcycle and left. Once he reached a safe distance from the pagoda festival site, he dialled the phone he had placed inside the plastic bag and heard an explosion. The next day, he left for his cousin’s house, who was staying in Ruili, China, and stayed there for a month. He came to Mandalay for some 20 days in November 2017 and stayed at his friend’s house on 59 Street, between 41 and 42 Street in Mahaaungmye Township, and then returned to live with his parents in Mamon Village. He came back to attend the third-year course in the university in January 2018 and stayed at Shwe Sin Min boarding house. He had moved to Aye Yeik Nyein male boarding house on 67 Street, between 41 and 42 Street, Mahamyaing Ward (1), Mahaaungmye Township, to attend the second semester, when he was arrested.
Action will be taken against the suspect according to the law, while the police have requested the public to report to the authorities on seeing any suspicious chemical (liquid or solid).