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Burmese Rebel Group Denies Responsibility for Tuesday Blasts

Burmese Rebel Group Denies Responsibility for Tuesday Blasts

A prominent ethnic rebel group in Burma has rejected the government's accusation that its members are responsible for two bomb explosions in a central town Tuesday.

The Karen National Union issued a statement Tuesday "categorically" denying any involvement in the blasts in the town of Kyaukkyi. The group accuses Burma's military authorities of instigating violence in order to win the 2010 election.

Burma's state-run media reported Wednesday that authorities had arrested 11 people for allegedly planning terrorist attacks in the Rangoon area. A report in The New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the suspected terrorists were trained by the Karen National Union.

The regime has blamed the group for a series of recent bombings, including a December blast in eastern Karen state that killed seven people and the two blasts Tuesday in Kyaukkyi. No one was wounded in the Kuyaukkyi bombings, but several buildings were damaged.

The New Light of Myanmar quoted the Home Ministry as saying authorities seized various explosives, detonators and other weapons during recent raids, which led to the arrest of 11 suspects.

The Karen National Union has been fighting for greater autonomy for ethnic Karen people in Burma for more than 60 years.

It is the only ethnic group in Burma that has not signed a peace treaty with the ruling military government.

The military government has ruled Burma since 1962. It has announced elections for this year but has not set a date.