Attackers killed five Burmese workers surveying the route of a natural gas pipeline being built by French and American companies inside Burma, Thai military intelligence officers said Saturday.
The officers, who demanded anonymity, said the attack last Thursday appeared to be aimed at halting construction of the pipeline, which is to carry natural gas from Burma’s offshore fields to Thailand.
The identity of the attackers was not known. Officers said the area is known to be infiltrated by guerrillas of the Karen and Mon ethnic minorities, both opposed to the pipeline.
The pipeline is being built by Total of France and Los Angeles-based Unocal.
Opponents of the pipeline argue that it and other foreign investment only serves to enrich Burma’s military government.