This journalist found herself caring for two small children after a bomb rocked a Myanmar hotel

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Marco Werman: I'm Marco Werman. This is "The World". Violent attacks around the globe are sadly all too common, sometimes they don't even make the news here. One incident in Myanmar caught our attention, in part because we heard about it directly from someone who was nearby at the time. It happened last night in the largest Burmese city, Rangoon. As you've heard here on The World, Myanmar seems to be a real success story - A nation transitioning from dictatorship to struggling democracy. There are fancy hotels now in Burma though the infrastructure is still a bit rough.

Naomi Gingold: Here in Burma, the internet is just so underdeveloped let's say that Traders is known for having the best internet in the city. I mean my newspaper, we're even located close to Traders in case something happens to our internet, we go to Traders Hotel. And I can tell you it's quite pricey for them and cost them I think about more than five thousand dollars a month for their fast internet, the kind of internet that we in the US kinda take for granted.

Werman: That's Naomi Gingold, a reporter for the The Irrawaddy newspaper. She was in the Traders Hotel last night taking advantage of the fast internet there when she heard a man screaming for help.

Gingold: And he appeared carrying this woman limp down the stairs and she was bleeding kinda profusely, there was blood in the ground. And then a black van finally appeared at the doorway and brought her out and took her out to the hospital and her two little sons somehow ended up my care. I was there with one other journalist and we kinda ended up taking care of them. They were pretty shaken, really cute five and seven-year-old and they were only wearing a t-shirt and underwear and the hotel staff brought them a towel and we kinda talked to them, calmed them down a little bit.

Werman: Did you immediately know that there had been a bomb attack? I mean it sounds like you didn't hear anything.

Gingold: It wasn't immediately clear what exactly had happened to her. We thought maybe she was sick. We had no idea that there had been an explosion yet because there was no big sound, we've only heard the guy screaming. And it wasn't until we left that night, we got the boys some hot chocolate, we talked to them a little bit, joked with them, and put them to bed, and we were leaving the hotel and we noticed the glass kinda strewn around kinda far out from the entrance of the hotel almost to the street and that's when we realized something wasn't quite right and they hadn't told us the whole story.

Werman: So, Naomi, who might have done this and why would they have done it? Has there been any claim of responsibility?

Gingold: You know, that's what's so weird about this is that there have been absolutely no claims as to what's going on. We don't really know yet so far. This actually is following kind of a string of attacks that have occurred in Rangoon over the last couple of days and there have been a few bomb blasts in other cities in the country as well. Burma has had ethnic insurgencies for a long time. In the past when there have been some small explosions in the country in years past, they were often blamed on the insurgencies. Some reporters think this might be tied to the fact that last week, some military strongmen in the government kind of made threatening statements saying that if the constitution were changed there would be serious consequences in the country. I mean what people are saying are all over the place at the moment. What has been kind of confirmed, I should say, is that there are three suspects that the police are currently talking to in Rangoon. It's unclear why they've been arrested, unclear what the evidence is against them, and there was one man arrested in an other state. He was apparently seen on a security camera at Traders Hotel and left his ID in a taxi.

Werman: I mean just that notion though about the general you mentioned who was dissatisfied with the changes in the constitution. I mean is that a current that you're finding in Burma among some people? That they don't like the idea of democracy being brought into their country?

Gingold: I think most people here in Burma really want democracy and change though I should say that a lot of people tell me that nothing has really changed, the generals have just changed clothes.

Werman: Reporter Naomi Gingold on the line. Thank you for your time, Naomi. Good to speak with you.

Gingold: Thanks very much, Marco.

Werman: And to get us that report, Naomi had to go back to Traders to file because her own internet wasn't fast enough. Oh, and she got back to say that the woman injured in the blast is OK and has flown with her husband and their kids to their home in Hong Kong. As for that bomb, details of who did it and why are still unclear.