Myanmar arrests manover links to SL bombings

ANKARA (AA): Myanmar has detained a Muslim Sri Lankan national on suspicion that he was part of a group suspected of carrying out Easter bombings in the island nation last month. According to Bangkok-based The Nation newspaper, police in the Buddhist-majority country arrested the man identified as a 39-year-old Abdul Salam Irshad Mohmood on Thursday evening.

The arrest was made after several social-media users in the country claimed that an overstaying foreigner could “be linked to those involved in the Easter bombings”. Mohmood is being held by the Special Branch by Myanmar police in Kyauktada district of Yangon. At least 250 people were killed during Christian Mass in Sri Lanka in April when tens of hundreds of Christians were attending special prayers.

Mohmood has rejected accusations telling Myanmar police he is innocent. But the police, without disclosing any detail about their investigation, “thought [that Mohmood] has some links with a group of terrorists” behind the Sri Lanka bombings. “But at the moment it is really hard to make the investigation public because he claims to be innocent and further investigations are underway,” the police has said.

Mohmood arrived in Yangon with a tourist visa on January 16 last year. “He is alleged to have overstayed in Myanmar for more than 14 months” at a guest house in Bagan, the newspaper quoted Myanmar tourist police as saying. Bagan is one of the ancient capitals of Myanmar’s and it is popular among tourists.