Bomb blasts hit remote Myanmar dam project

Last Updated: Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 20:31

Yangon: A series of bomb blasts at the
site of a controversial dam project in a remote part of
Myanmar destroyed cars and buildings and left one man injured
Friday, an official said.

The explosions took place in the early hours of the
morning at four locations where the Myitsone Dam is under
construction in the country`s northernmost Kachin state, the
official said on condition of anonymity.

"One engineer was slightly injured. Some cars and
buildings were destroyed because of the blasts," he said.

The blasts went off two days after three other bombs
in the country`s main city Yangon killed eight people in the
worst attack there in five years.

The bombs went off at a park where revellers were
celebrating an annual water festival, and led state media in
the military-ruled nation to urge people to "remain vigilant
against potential atrocities".

At least 170 people were also wounded, according to
state media. The Myitsone Dam project has been under way since
2005 and is being built by Myanmar`s ruling junta in
partnership with the China Power Investment Corporation and
China Southern Power Grid Corporation (CSG).

Environmental and rights activists have campaigned
against the dam, which is being built a mile below the
confluence of two rivers to create a giant reservoir.

The dam will force the displacement of 10,000
people, mostly from the Kachin ethnic group, while destroying
rainforest and disrupting river systems that feed local
agriculture, according to the activist group International
Rivers.

The latest blasts came as the country prepares for
elections planned for this year that critics have dismissed as
a sham due to the effective barring of opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi because she is a serving prisoner.

Myanmar has been hit by several bomb blasts in
recent years, which the junta has blamed on armed exile groups
or ethnic rebels.

In May 2005 blasts at two Yangon supermarkets and a
convention centre killed 23 people. The junta blamed those
explosions on exile groups.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 20:31

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