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Myanmar calls fatal blasts a terror attack

By the CNN Wire Staff
People wait Thursday for word of relatives outside the emergency department of Yangon Hospital in Myanmar.
People wait Thursday for word of relatives outside the emergency department of Yangon Hospital in Myanmar.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Government says says three explosions were act of terror
  • NEW: Official death toll is 8, but hospital says 20 were killed
  • Crowds taking part in annual water festival
  • Yangon is commercial hub of country under military rule
RELATED TOPICS
  • Myanmar
  • Terrorism

Yangon, Myanmar (CNN) -- The government of Myanmar said three bombs caused the deadly blasts that ripped through Yangon on Thursday, an action it calls a terrorist attack.

At least 20 people have died and more than 70 others were wounded, a staff member at Yangon Hospital said. But the government says only eight have died and more than 90 others were wounded.

The blasts occurred at 3 p.m. local time during a water festival, part of the New Year's celebration taking place in Myanmar and other southeastern Asian countries. People toss water on each other as part of a cleansing ritual during the celebration.

Myanmar, formerly called Burma, is under strict military rule and such blasts are rare. Yangon, Myanmar's former capital and the country's commercial hub, is generally a crime-free and calm city.

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.