China for immediate ceasefire b/w Myanmar forces, ethnic rebels

China for immediate ceasefire b/w Myanmar forces, ethnic rebels

Nan Mwe Phown, a Red Cross member who was at a hospital in Muse, said the dead included 13 male civilians and two women, one of whom was pregnant, as well as several police officers.

Ethnic insurgents in Myanmar killed 19 people, including four members of the security forces, in an attack on security posts and a casino near the border with China, a Myanmar government spokesman said on Saturday.

The UN and human rights groups say the volatile situation in Myanmar is putting people's lives at risk.

Also injured two dozen people.

Rights defenders say clashes in northern Myanmar near the China border have ramped up since January as the global community focuses on the Rohingya crisis in the west of the country. "This is a terrorist attack".

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

"Fighting took place since 5 am this morning [4 am Indian Standard Time] at three places: two military bases in Muse and one near a bridge on the way to Lashio town", the rebel group's spokesperson Major Mai Aik Kyaw told AFP.

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

Last year, Beijing estimated that a flare-up in violence led to more than 20,000 refugees crossing the border, while fighting in 2009 and 2015 displaced tens of thousands of people.

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

China on Sunday condemned fighting in Myanmar between Myanmar government troops and ethnic militants near the Chinese border, which had caused people to flee into Chinese territory.

More than a third of Myanmar's townships are affected by unresolved conflict, according to a 2017 report from the Asia Foundation.

Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has so far failed to fulfill her top priority of achieving peace with ethnic minority insurgents.

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