The American embassy in Yangon apologised after a tear gas test gone awry led to reports of bombing and temporarily affected the flow of traffic along the University Avenue.
On Sunday, tear gas fumes emerged from the embassy compound which led to passers-by complaining of eye irritation. Three senior Yangon police officials were then dispatched to the scene to investigate the situation and emergency responders were called in, including fire-fighters and ambulances, reports the Myanmar Times.
The US embassy said a “routine security drill” in its compound had “inadvertently inconvenienced passers-by and a neighbouring business”. The Embassy security officer Laughn P Rowe said it was the first and would be the last time tear gas was able to spill out onto University Avenue, a busy thoroughfare.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Daw Aye Aye Soe, said the US embassy had failed to inform the relevant authorities of the security drill and that the US mission was instructed that it must provide advance notice in the future.
The embassy was also instructed to not conduct routine security drills with real weapons while acknowledging that it has a right to conduct such drills within its compound in line with diplomatic standards.