Army-ruled Myanmar on Thursday said it had arrested 11 people who had planned to derail this year's elections by plotting to bomb an industrial zone and attack military convoys.
State media said the 11 were trained by the separatist Karen National Union (KNU) and were arrested over a three-day period last week in Mingaladon, an industrial zone and army garrison town on the outskirts of Yangon.
"Terrorist insurgents are hatching evil plots to hinder and jeopardise peace, stability and development of the nation and . the task of holding the 2010 election," MRTV said, reading a statement from the Home Ministry.
Myanmar plans to hold its first general election in two decades some time this year, which the junta says is the final step on its democratic "road map". Critics say the military will continue to run the country under the facade of civilian rule.
The statement, also carried in Thursday's newspapers, said the authorities seized TNT & C4 explosives, 43 detonators, a computer, a satellite telephone, a pistol and gun power.
The KNU is one of the biggest of the ethnic groups that have been fighting against the government for greater autonomy since independence from Britain in 1948. The junta blames most bombings, which are usually non-lethal, on KNU guerrillas.
The current regime has reached ceasefire agreements with 17 ethnic groups and at least six splinter groups of the KNU since it came to power in 1988. However, peace talks with the mainstream KNU have so far failed.