By Kyaw Ye Lynn
YANGON, Myanmar (AA) - Security has been reinforced after three bomb explosions rocked Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar’s restive western Rakhine state Saturday morning, said police and a local government official.
A policeman was slightly injured on Saturday morning in a bomb blast near the residence of Tin Maung Swe, secretary and spokesman of the regional government.
“A policeman guarding my home was injured. No other was wounded, but the blast caused minor damage,” Tin Maung Swe told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
Two more bombs went off near a township court and a land record office, a local police officer said.
“We can’t say who is behind the blasts at the moment,” said police officer Aung Myat Soe.
“Security has been tightened as we don’t want the public to panic,” he told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
The police said an investigation into the blasts was in progress.
The explosion in Rakhine -- home to a population of around 1.2 million stateless Rohingya before the recent crisis -- comes after a blast at a local bank in the town of Lashio in the northeastern Shan state killed two women and injured 22 on Wednesday.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, more than 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, fled Myanmar after the country’s forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to Amnesty International.
Most of the refugees took refuge at a camp near Cox Bazar in southeast Bangladesh.
At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.
In a report last December, the global humanitarian group said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children under the age of 5.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.