A Myanmar government spokesman says a petrol bomb was tossed into the residential compound of the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but she was not at home and damage was minor.

Spokesman Zaw Htay says Suu Kyi was in the capital Naypyitaw when the incident took place Thursday morning.

He says witnesses saw an unidentified man running away from the residence, after which police found an exploded bottle with gasoline traces inside the compound that had burned external water pipes.

Suu Kyi is hugely popular among Myanmar's majority Buddhists, but has been heavily criticized abroad for failing to stake a stand against army abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

She holds the official positions of state counselor and foreign minister.