At Least 19 Killed in Fighting Between Myanmar Army, Rebels

Kachin Independence army rebel stands at frontline outpost facing no man's land in Lawa Yang outside of Laiza the armed group's headquarters in northern Kachin state Myanmar

Myanmar: 19 die in fresh clashes between army and rebels in Shan state

Nineteen people including 15 civilians were killed and 27 others injured by a series of attacks by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), in Muse of the northern Shan State on the morning of May 12, according to Director-General of Myanmar State Counsellor Office U Zaw Htay's facebook.

Rights defenders say clashes in northern Myanmar near the China border have ramped up in recent months as the global community focuses on the Rohingya crisis in the west of the country.

The army has been accused of systematic human-rights violations against the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority in the western state of Rakhine, forcing more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since August.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Video on social media showed smoke rising above Muse's prominent trading centre.

Of the 18 civilians killed in the attack that began at 5 a.m., 16 were men and two were women, said Zaw Htay.

The TNLA is among more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups that have been fighting the central government for greater autonomy for decades. "It is just a destructive terrorist attack".

"Now the Myanmar military is attacking and following them".

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TNLA spokesman Major Mai Aik Kyaw told AFP that the group attacked joint military and militia posts in the Shan state town of Muse and on a road to Lashio.

"We feel sorry for civilian deaths".

It is unclear if members of the powerful Kachin Independence Army, or KIA, took part in the attacks on Saturday though the commander-in-chief's post said they did.

Those fleeing violence have sheltered in tents and even churches in Kachin, which is mainly Christian, as rights groups accuse the military of blocking aid.

In 2017, Chinese authorities estimated a flare-up of violence to have sent more than 20,000 refugees across the border, and fighting in 2009 and 2015 displaced tens of thousands of people.

"She ignored the ethnic issue".

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