Asia Crisis

Bomb kills woman in Myanmar's new capital

YANGON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded in the toilet of the railway station serving Myanmar's new capital on Friday, killing a woman in the first such incident since the ruling junta moved there in November 2005, an official said.

"A woman died in the explosion at about 4:30 a.m. inside the bathroom of Pyinmana Railway Station," a station official told Reuters. He gave no further information.

Small bomb blasts at public places such as Buddhist temples, markets and fairs are relatively common in the former Burma, which has been under military rule since 1962 and riven by multiple ethnic guerrilla conflicts.

The regime normally points the finger at dissident groups, ranging from pro-democracy activists in exile to ethnic militias who have been fighting for greater autonomy or even independence for more than five decades.

The ruling generals moved abruptly from the colonial era capital, Yangon, to Naypyidaw, an unfinished administrative centre in jungle-clad hills 240 miles (380 km) to the north, in November 2005.

The junta argued the move closer to the heart of the country would increase government efficiency.

Dissidents have posited alternative theories ranging from fear of a sea-borne U.S. invasion to establishment of a new dynastic capital in the tradition of Burma's ancient kings. (Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Ed Cropley and Sanjeev Miglani)