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.


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

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