19 killed in fight between Myanmar army and rebels

Upwards of 90,000 people reside in IDP camps in Kachin and Shan states since a ceasefire between the powerful Kachin Independence Army and the military broke down in 2011

Upwards of 90,000 people reside in IDP camps in Kachin and Shan states since a ceasefire between the powerful Kachin Independence Army and the military broke down in 2011

Eighteen civilians and a policeman were killed in Myanmar's eastern Shan State on Saturday when an ethnic armed group attacked a town, government spokesperson Zaw Htay told dpa.

Clashes in Northern Myanmar near the border with China have increased since January, as the worldwide community pays more attention to the Rohingya refugee crisis in the West.

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

The Ta'ang National Liberation Army is one of several in Myanmar's frontier areas that have long battled government forces.

The fighting erupted at Muse town yesterday in which nineteen people have been killed so far.

A statement posted on the page of Myanmar's commander-in-chief said military columns were in pursuit of the "terrorist insurgents". "We are sorry. But it's hard to say how they were killed during the fighting", said the TNLAA spokesman.

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An injured man sits inside a vehicle in Muse, northern Shan state, Myanmar.

He said the attack was in retaliation for recent attacks on TNLA outposts and for a military offensive against its ally - the Kachin Independence Army - in Kachin state, which occupies the southern tip of the Himalayas. About 6,800 people were newly displaced in Kachin since early April because of the violence, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported this week.

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.

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

"She should stand firm with the people but she compromised with the military", he said.

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