Asian MMA

Burmese Fighter Phoe Thaw Injured in Bomb Blast, Arrested

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ONE Championship Burmese featherweight, Phoe Thaw has been seriously injured in a bomb homemade blast in Yangon, Myanmar this Wednesday.

Phoe Thaw

The MMA fighter was engaged in anti-coup protests and he was injured by a homemade bomb that went off in his gym. Phoe Thaw was in the hospital, receiving treatment for leg wounds when he was arrested. He was one of four people arrested by the military. According to Myawaddy TV, military-run, these four are accused of colluding to commit violent acts.

The military of Myanmar reports, on Myawaddy TV, Phoe Thaw had made the bomb himself and it accidentally went off. Reuters disagrees with this version of the events. “A former colleague, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said the homemade bomb had been left at the gym car park by a policeman posing as a civilian.”

The ONE Championship fighter Phoe Thaw was a well-known anti-coup protester. At one point he was photographed during protests holding a sign to challenge Min Aung Hlaing to an MMA fight.

Phow Thaw is an 8-2 active MMA fighter competing with ONE Championship. He fought as recently as October of 2019. He made his professional MMA debut in 2015.

The younger brother of Phoe Thaw, a professional footballer who played for the national team, Kaung Si Thu, had also been detained by the military Friday morning, MMAWeekly reports.

Myanmar and the Coup

The country has been in chaos since February 1st. This is when a military coup had taken control of the country. Protests have been happening daily all over the country which has been met with extreme violence. According to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), there have 769 people been killed by the military, and nearly 3,700 detained.

The United States had officially declared, in February, the military takeover to be a coup. This means the US has put restrictions on US assistance to the country and could add sanctions in the future. “After a review of all the facts, we have assessed that the Burmese military actions on February 1, having deposed the duly elected head of government, constituted a military coup d’etat,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a Tuesday afternoon briefing, using Myanmar’s former name.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the Burmese military’s detention of civilian government leaders, including State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi and civil society leaders,” Price said.

On February 1st the Myanmar military “Tatmadaw,” claimed the November election was fraudulent and detained the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and many other members of the country’s National League for Democracy. The election commission of Myanmar says there is no evidence to support these claims.

Bomb blasts are becoming more commonplace in the country as protests have continued since February. Reuters reports, “Small blasts are becoming more frequent in towns and cities in Myanmar, some at government or military buildings, which the junta says are proof of a violent rebellion by supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted government. A unity government comprised of former politicians, pro-democracy groups and ethnic minority armies says the explosions are being orchestrated by a junta seeking to cling to power by eradicating its enemies.”

The protests are likely to continue with no end in sight. Reuters reports, “More youths took to social media on Thursday to declare their intent to train to fight in the unity government’s newly formed “defense force”, threatening to attack the well-equipped military if more civilians are killed.”

These are the most recent updates that have come out of the country. ONE Championship at this time have not said anything regarding this situation.

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Tim Wheaton has been with the sport of MMA since 2005. MMA & Boxing training and fight experience. From Canada, now in Scotland.
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