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YANGON (Reuters) – At least 24 people were killed and many wounded in three explosions at a new year water festival in the former Myanmar capital of Yangon on Thursday, hospital sources said.

The government has not blamed any group or indicated the cause of the explosions. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

The junta has in the past blamed bombings on anti-government dissident groups and separate ethnic rebels seeking autonomy in the country that has been under military rule since 1962.

Witnesses said they heard three loud explosions at a pavilion alongside Kandawgyi Lake. Hospital sources said 24 people had died.

"Some people were wounded but we are not in a position to give you further detailed information since necessary investigations are still in progress," police said.

Most of the pavilions on U Htaungbo Road, along the scenic lakeside, are run by companies close to the authorities.

In 1990, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a general election but was not allowed to take power by the military, which continues to maintain a tight grip on the country.

An election is expected to be held later in the year but no timeframe has been specified. The upcoming poll has been widely derided in advance as a sham to make the country appear democratic, with the military retaining control over key institutions.

Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest, has been in detention without trial for more than 15 of the past 21 years.

(Additional reporting by Ambika Ahuja in Bangkok, Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Alex Richardson)

source by : yahoo

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