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Cablegate: Discovery of Ied Near U.S. Embassy - Rangoon

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS RANGOON 000387

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DS/DSS/IP, DS/IP/EAP, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/ICI/PII,
EAP/EX, EAP/BCLTV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC AMGT PTER BM
SUBJECT: DISCOVERY OF IED NEAR U.S. EMBASSY - RANGOON

REF: RSO CLASSIFIED E-MAIL TO DSERCC AND SES-O_DSOPCC
DATED 27 MARCH

1. (U) AT APPROXIMATELY 06:20 THIS MORNING, AN IMPROVISED
EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (IED) WAS DISCOVERED IN MAHABANDOOLA PARK
WHICH FRONTS MERCHANT STREET ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE
CHANCERY. THE DEVICE WAS DISCOVERED DURING A ROUTINE CHECK
BY HOST COUNTRY SECURITY SERVICES AND WAS DESCRIBED AS A
1/2-POUND BLOCK OF TNT WITH TWO AA-BATTERIES, A FUSE
DETONATOR, TIMER, AND A BLASTING CAP. THE IED WAS DISCOVERED
INSIDE A PLASTIC SHOPPING BAG THAT WAS PLACED ON OPEN GROUND
(NO CONCEALMENT), INSIDE THE PARK, APPROXIMATELY 200 METERS
W-NW OF THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE CHANCERY. THE IED WAS
APPROXIMATELY 5-METERS INSIDE THE PARK FENCE LINE THAT
PARALLELS SULE PAGODA ROAD. HOST COUNTRY EOD SERVICES MOVED
THE IED FROM THE PARK TO A SAFE AREA TO DISARM THE DEVICE,
AND, INADVERTENTLY, DETONATED THE BLASTING CAP, SLIGHTLY
INJURING TWO OF THE EOD PERSONNEL. THE TIMER ON THE DEVICE
WAS SET FOR 0830. AS FAR AS WE KNOW, NO OTHER ITEMS, I.E.
PAMPHLETS OR LITERATURE, WERE FOUND WITH THE DEVICE.

2. (U) POST BELIEVES THIS DEVICE WAS INTENDED TO CAUSE
DISRUPTION TO THE "NATIONAL ARMED FORCES DAY" CELEBRATION
WHICH IS SCHEDULED TODAY (27 MARCH). WE HAVE NO REASON TO
BELIEVE THAT IT WAS TARGETED AGAINST THE U.S. EMBASSY. THE
LOCATION OF THE IED IS FAR REMOVED FROM BOTH THE PARADE ROUTE
AND CELEBRATION SITES, WHICH ARE CHECKED SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
EVEN IF DETONATED, THE DEVICE WOULD ONLY CAUSE MINIMAL
DAMAGE, UNLESS, OF COURSE, A VISITOR HAPPENED TO BE IN CLOSE
PROXIMITY TO THE DEVICE WHEN DETONATION OCCURRED.

3. (U) MAHABANDOOLA PARK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. SECURITY
SERVICES CONDUCTED A COMPLETE SWEEP OF THE PARK AND DID NOT
LOCATE ANY OTHER DEVICES. LOCAL GUARDS HAVE CHECKED THE
ENTIRE PERIMETER AROUND THE CHANCERY--WITHIN THE PROTECTIVE
ZONE--AND DID NOT LOCATE ANY DEVICES. RSO ORDERED MSG POST
ONE TO INITIATE AN EMERGENCY CELL CALL TO ALL AMERICAN STAFF
ALERTING THEM TO AVOID THE EMBASSY AND PARK AREA UNTIL
FURTHER NOTICE. ALL EAC MEMBERS, INCLUDING THE CHARGE AND
DCM, HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED OF THE SITUATION. RSO CONTACTED
DSOPCC AT 09:15 TO REPORT THE INCIDENT. THE CONSULAR SECTION
HAS BEEN NOTIFIED AND A WARDEN MESSAGE WILL BE SENT TO THE
AMERICAN COMMUNITY LATER THIS DATE.

4. (U) BARRING FURTHER INCIDENTS, POST IS PLANNING TO OPEN
FOR NORMAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS ON FRIDAY, 28 MARCH. THE EAP
IS SCHEDULED TO CONVENE AT 09:00 ON FRIDAY TO DISCUSS THE
INCIDENT AND ASSESS POST SECURITY POSTURE.
Martinez

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