Flares fight in Myanmar town on Chinese border By Reuters
(Reuters) – A shootout broke out on Sunday between Myanmar’s security forces and an alliance of armed ethnic groups opposed to the February coup in a town on the border with China, Myanmar media reported.
The fighting at Muse, one of the main crossing points to China, was the last to hit Myanmar since the coup led to a resurgence of conflict with insurgent groups in border areas, as well as bombings, shootings and arson attacks all over the country.
Gunshots erupted in Muse around dawn, broadcaster DVB and Khit Thit Media said. Khit Thit Media posted footage of what he said were civilian vehicles strewn with bullets.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Reuters was unable to reach a spokesperson for the junta or spokespersons for the four ethnic armed groups that make up the Northern Alliance.
One of the alliance groups, the Kachin Independence Army, on Saturday attacked a military post in northwest Myanmar, nearly 320 km (200 miles) from Muse and closer to the border. Indian across the country.
The junta has waged a growing number of conflicts since taking power on February 1 and toppling elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Ethnic armed groups who have waged war for decades to demand greater autonomy have been joined by new groups opposed to the coup.
Meanwhile, protests are being waged daily against the military regime, while strikes have crippled hospitals, schools and many private businesses.
More than 125,000 teachers – nearly a third of the total – have been suspended for joining a civil disobedience movement to oppose the coup, an official from the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation said.
At least 815 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to the activist group of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.
The junta disputes the figure and its leader, Min Aung Hlaing, said in comments released on Saturday that 300 people were killed in addition to 47 police officers.
Protesters are also demanding the release of nearly 4,300 people arrested since the coup, including Suu Kyi, 75.
Min Aung Hlaing said Suu Kyi is in good health and will appear in court soon. Her next hearing will be on Monday on some of the many charges against her, which range from illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to violating a state secrets law.
The military seized power on the basis of an alleged fraud in the general election won by Suu Kyi’s party in November. His accusations had been rejected by the former electoral commission, of which dozens of officials are now locked up.
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