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Ethnic Karen Group Claims Responsibility For Sabotaging Natural Gas Pipelines - 2003-04-20


A rebel ethnic group opposed to Burma's military government has claimed responsibility for sabotaging natural gas pipelines in recent months.

In a statement today (Sunday), the Karen National Union (KNU) said its military arm blew up some sections of natural gas pipelines owned by the State Peace and Development Council on three separate occasions from February to April.

The statement accused the government of using revenue from the pipelines to buy planes, tanks and other military hardware to use against Karens and the population in general.

It also criticized the junta for delaying political dialogue with ethnic groups and leaders of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

The KNU is one of a few remaining rebel groups fighting an independence campaign against the Rangoon government. The junta requires rebel groups to lay down their arms prior to peace negotiations, which several have refused to do.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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