updated 4/26/2005 11:07:03 PM ET 2005-04-27T03:07:03

A bomb exploded at a busy market in Myanmar’s key tourist city of Mandalay Tuesday, killing at least two people and wounding 15 others, officials said.

The blast occurred on the ground floor of the Zay Cho market in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, about 4 p.m., a city official said on condition of anonymity.

The two dead and at least 13 of the wounded were women, the official said. It was not immediately known if any foreign tourists were wounded.

Mandalay, 350 miles north of the capital of Yangon, is the country’s cultural hub and an important tourist destination.

State-run radio and television said rebels carried out the attack, but the reports did not name a group. A bomb that exploded at the same marked four years ago and wounded eight people was blamed on an ethnic Shan rebel group.

Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962. The current regime took power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy uprising. The junta keeps tight control over the population and anti-government violence is rare, often bringing quick and severe punishment.

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