Eight hurt in Myanmar road blast: Official

At least eight people were injured when a landmine exploded on a road in eastern Myanmar, an official in the military-ruled country said.

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 00:30 AM IST

Yangon: At least eight people were injured
when a landmine exploded on a road in eastern Myanmar on Friday,
an official in the military-ruled country said.

Six passengers in a car and two on a motorcycle were
hurt when the landmine went off on the road between Myawaddy
and Kawkareik in Karen State near the Thai border, the
official told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

"The injured were taken to the Myawaddy hospital," the
official said.

The blast comes as Myanmar prepares to convene the first
session of a new parliament, expected some time this month,
following a widely criticised November election in which an
army-backed party claimed a huge victory.

A simmering civil war has wracked parts of the country
since independence in 1948.

Many groups have previously signed ceasefire agreements
with the junta, but tensions have increased after the regime`s
attempts to bring ethnic armies under state control as "border
guard forces" met with fierce resistance.

The Karen National Union (KNU) has been fighting the
military junta for more than five decades.

Residents of Karen State said there had been frequent
minor clashes between ethnic insurgents and the government
forces around Myawaddy town since November.

At least three civilians were killed and 11 more people
injured when heavy-weapons fire from ethnic rebels hit the
border town the day after the November election, causing
thousands to flee across the border into Thailand.

PTI