Report: Blast in northern Myanmar kills 7

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 1:02 AM

A bomb planted at a fair celebrating the ethnic Karen minority's New Year holiday killed seven people and wounded 11 others, state media reported Friday.

The bomb exploded Wednesday evening near food stalls at a festival ground in Hpa-pun in northern Karen state where celebrations were under way for the lunar Karen New Year, the Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported.

Myanmar's tightly controlled state media typically reports violence several days after it occurs.

No one claimed responsibility for the blast, which the newspaper blamed on rebels from the Karen National Union. The KNU has been fighting for more than 60 years for greater autonomy from Myanmar's central government, but its strength has dwindled over the past decade because of army offensives and divisions within its ranks.

The paper warned that rebels might try to create panic by exploding more bombs and called on the public to report any suspicious activities to authorities.