Two explosions and gunfire rocked Yangon’s Insein Prison on Wednesday morning. At least eight people were killed in the incident. Among the dead were relatives of two other political prisoners, including the mother of a jailed student activist, and three prison staff, Irrawaddy said.

According to locals, two parcel bombs exploded in a building near the prison entrance. The parcels were used by relatives of prisoners to bring food. After the explosion, the junta started firing indiscriminately.

A man named Dr Ki Myint (54), mother of Ko Lin Htet Naing alias Ko James, was killed while delivering food to her imprisoned son. His son was arrested by junta forces in Yangon on June 18, family members said.

A total of eight people were killed in the explosion, the junta said. The dead included three prison staff and five visitors, including a child. A total of 18 people, including five prison staff and 13 civilians, were also injured.

A family member of a political prisoner said among the civilians killed were the mothers of at least two other political prisoners.

One was Daw Thin Thin Cho. He was in prison to testify as a witness in his son’s case. His son was an employee of Air KBZ. He was arrested in September last year on charges of conspiracy to crash an airline plane.

Activists also reported the death of anti-junta protester Ko Hein’s mother. Ko Hein was arrested during a flash mob protest near Pan Pin Gi Road in Kimi Indaing Township, Yangon.

However, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The infamous Insain prison houses thousands of political prisoners, including elected leaders, activists, politicians and student protesters.

(October 19)