Myanmar military, coup opponents trade blame after deadly bus stop blast

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Dr. Sasa, who was set to be part of Aung San Suu Kyi cabinet before the military coup, is seen in this still image taken from a video of an online interview with Reuters from his undisclosed location, February 28, 2021. Picture taken February 28, 2021. REUTERS

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June 1 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military on Wednesday blamed "terrorists" opposed to its rule for a deadly bombing at a bus stop in its biggest city, an accusation denied by members of an exiled shadow government.

Tuesday's explosion in downtown Yangon killed two people and wounded seven, Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson of the ruling military council, told a regular news briefing.

He said the bomber had ties to armed groups opposed to the junta and was among those killed. He did not provide evidence.

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Myanmar has been in chaos since last year's coup, with conflict spreading across the Southeast Asian country after the army crushed mostly peaceful protests in cities.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar published photographs of some of the bloodied victims of Tuesday's blast and said security forces were investigating.

No group has claimed responsibility but the newspaper said a bomb was planted by "PDF (People's Defence Force) terrorists".

Since the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government, lightly armed PDFs have sprung up across Myanmar to fight the well-equipped army, which the United Nations says has committed atrocities against civilians.

The shadow National Unity Government's (NUG) defence ministry condemned the blast, which its spokesperson accused the military of orchestrating.

"We will do everything we can to get justice for those people," Dr. Sasa, who goes by one name, said in a statement.

Neither the junta nor the NUG provided evidence supporting their allegations, which Reuters could not independently verify.

The Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP), an activist group, says more than 1,800 people had been killed by the security forces since the coup, a figure the junta says is exaggerated.

The true picture of the violence has become more difficult to assess since clashes have spread to more remote areas where ethnic minority insurgent groups are also fighting the military.

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Reporting by Reuters Staff Writing by Ed Davies Editing by Robert Birsel and Nick Macfie

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