Myanmar explosives injure five in China

BEIJING (AFP) - Five people in China were injured after two explosive devices from Myanmar hit the country's south-west, local authorities said Friday, following a similar strike two months ago that killed five Chinese citizens.

The explosives landed in a rural area of Lincang in Yunnan province on Thursday night, close to where Myanmar soldiers have been fighting ethnic insurgents for months.

One Chinese and four people from Myanmar were wounded, an official of the city's propaganda office told AFP.

"The injured are being treated in the hospital and their lives are not in danger," said the official, who would only give his surname Liu.

It was not clear whether the devices were bombs dropped from an airplane or artillery shells.

State broadcaster China Central Television said Friday that one landed in front of a restaurant and the other hit a road in a residential compound.

Myanmar in February declared a state of emergency in Kokang, a remote region of the northeastern Shan state, in response to a surge in ethnic conflict in the area.

Kokang has strong bonds with China - local people speak a Chinese dialect and China's yuan is the common currency - and tens of thousands of people have crossed the border to flee the fighting.

Thursday's incident was the second in around two months after a Myanmar warplane dropped a bomb in a sugarcane field in the same area in March, killing five Chinese people and injuring eight others.

Beijing was infuriated and responded by sending fighter jets to patrol the border, with Premier Li Keqiang promising to "resolutely" protect citizens.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday that Beijing was "checking specifics" of the latest incident, adding "multiple bombs" had landed on China's territory and they posed "grave danger" to its people's life and property.

"The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with that and has solemnly urged Myanmar to take effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again," she said at a regular briefing on Friday.

Beijing was a key backer of Myanmar's military junta while it was under Western sanctions, but President Thein Sein has increased ties with other countries including the United States since launching political reforms in 2011.

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