Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

19 killed in fight between Myanmar army and rebels

19 killed in fight between Myanmar army and rebels

At least 19 people were killed in clashes between Myanmar's military and an ethnic insurgent group in the remote northern Shan state close to the Chinese border, AFP reported quoting unidentified military officials.

The attack began early Saturday and lasted about three hours, beginning on the outskirts of the town of Muse in Shan State then moving into its outskirts, said Sai Kyaw Thein, a member of Parliament from Muse.

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

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

Among victims - the police, militants and civilians.

The KIA, one of Myanmar's most powerful ethnic minority armed groups, based in the mountains bordering China and India, has regularly clashed with the Myanmar army since a ceasefire broke down in 2011.

"We fight because of heavy fighting in our region and the serious offensive in Kachin State", he said.

Myanmar's army has been criticized for extrajudicial killings, torture, forced labour, rape and other abuses against the country's many minority groups.

Video on social media showed smoke rising above Muse's prominent trading center. Some nations, such as the United States and Britain, have refused to adopt the name change.

On Saturday, protesters calling for an end to the violence in Kachin and elsewhere in the country scuffled with police in Yangon.

At least nine activists have been charged under Myanmar's draconian Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, according to statements released by Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights after protests were organized in four cities across Myanmar in the past week. Authorities said the protest would violate a previously issued order that banned protests in 11 of Rangoon's 14 townships.

About 100 police stood in a line to block their path, leading to some scuffles and a number of arrests.

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