An entrance of Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar An entrance of Insein prison in Yangon, Myanmar  (AFP or licensors)

Blasts kill at least eight in Myanmar prison

At least eight people killed and 18 others injured, by explosions caused by parcel bombs near the entrance gates of the Insein prison in Myanmar's capital of Yangon.

By Alastair Wanklyn  -  Tokyo

Eight people are reported dead after explosions inside a prison in the city of Yangon, Myanmar.

The blasts went off at the mail counter of Insein Prison, in Yangon.

The dead included prison officials and visitors, local news reports said.

A witness was quoted saying the explosions were followed by gun shots as soldiers opened fire.

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People with shrapnel injuries were treated at nearby shops, Britain's BBC broadcaster reported.

Insein prison houses around 10,000 prisoners, including opponents of Myanmar's governing regime.

They were jailed following a military coup last year, which replaced a government led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Housed pro-democracy activists

The prison is therefore a focal point for pro-democracy activists in Myanmar.

Their struggle has turned violent. Yangon has suffered frequent bomb and gun attacks since the military takeover.

Most of the attacks appear to target individuals suspected of collaborating with the military.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization said the conflict in Myanmar is continuing to force people from their homes.

1.3 Million IDPs

There are about 1.3 million internally displaced people, most of whom left their homes following the military takeover last year.

Adding to the problems are rising food costs. The price of rice recently was 50 percent higher than last year because of a decline in harvests and an increase in transport costs, the FAO said.

It said ongoing high prices of fuel and staple food ingredients had caused a drop in Myanmar's food security for the rest of 2022 and 2023.

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19 October 2022, 13:22