Military troops and police patrol Kayah state in eastern Myanmar on May 23. (AP Photo)
Fighters against Myanmar’s military junta fought with troops in the east of the country on Sunday, claiming they killed more than 13 members of the security forces, captured four and destroyed a police station, local media said.
The fighting is near The border between Southern Shan and Kayah states were the latest in a resurgence of conflict in parts of the Southeast Asian country since the coup that overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Members of a People’s Defense Force established since the coup told Irrawaddy News Service that they killed at least 13 members of the security forces when they overran a police station near the town of Mobye.
They told other media outlets that more people died in a later collision 20 kilometers south.
Reuters was unable to reach a junta spokesperson to comment on the fighting. State television made no mention of the clash.
Videos shared on social media showed the uniformed corpses of the security forces and smoke pouring from the wrecked police station and a police vehicle in Mobye.
Other images showed four men, from alleged to be police officers with their hands behind their backs and their eyes bandaged with surgical masks.
The Progressive Karenni People Force, a network of local groups, said a fighter was killed in Mobye.
The City is about 100 kilometers east of the capital Naypyidaw and close to the territory of some armed ethnic groups who have been fighting for more autonomy for decades.
As the fighting spread to Demoso in the south, the army brought reinforcements and armored vehicles , announced the local media. Mizzima News Service said thousands of people fled after dozens of artillery shells landed in their neighborhood.
An alliance of four armed ethnic groups, also opposed to the coup, fought with security forces in Muse, one early Sunday of the most important crossings to China, according to the media in Myanmar.
A government of national unity installed by opponents of the coup in the underground announced a new flag and command structure for the people’s defense force, which is to be used against the army. </ As the junta grapples with new conflicts on multiple fronts, it is also exposed to daily protests and strikes that have paralyzed hospitals, schools and many private companies.
More than 125,000 teachers – almost a third of the total – were suspended for joining a civil disobedience movement to oppose the coup, said an official from the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation.
At least 815 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group.
Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing said in comments broadcast on Saturday that 300 people were killed, in addition to 47 police officers.
The protesters are also calling for the release of nearly 4,300 people arrested since the coup, including Suu Kyi, 75,
Min Aung Hlaing said , Suu Kyi is healthy and will appear in court soon. Her next hearing is on Monday on some of the various charges brought against her.
The army took power, alleging fraud in an election that Suu Kyi’s party won in November. Their allegations had been rejected by the former electoral commission.
Some opponents of the coup have accused China of supporting the junta, which has been condemned by Western countries that have imposed limited sanctions. China was milder in its approach and sought stability.
In further comments from an interview published by Phoenix Television in Hong Kong on Sunday, Min Aung Hlaing tried to reassure Chinese companies after some factories recently opened in the trade capital of Yangon in « Our citizens are not against China, but it is the politics that causes the hatred, » he said.
The European Union presented a proposal from the junta-appointed election commission on Sunday denounced by Suu Kyi for the dissolution of the National League for Democracy.
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