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Insurgents in Burma kill 19 in attack near China border

13 May 2018

The conflict, including in the northern-most state of Kachin, has escalated over the past month as the global focus remains on the Rohingya crisis in the west of the country.

U Zaw Htay wrote on his facebook: "The fact that the TNLA has to carry out minor military operation as they have to suffer losses in attacks in the forest is unacceptable Attacks on civilian targets would not amount to demanding ethnic rights". In the past few months, clashes between ethnic groups and the military in Burma's northeastern region have intensified, resulting in thousands of people being displaced in neighboring Kachin state.

"Nineteen (people) were killed in fighting", an official with Myanmar's military told AFP, adding that two dozen had been wounded.

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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Video on social media showed smoke rising above Muse's prominent trading center.

China's embassy in Myanmar said in a statement that the conflict had sent stray bullets into China, along with an unidentified number of people seeking refuge.

Saturday's violence was between the military and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, or TNLA, one of several insurgent groups fighting for more autonomy in the north.

Killed 19 people, another 20 were injured. "It is just a destructive terrorist attack".

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Burma is often called Myanmar, a name that military authorities adopted in 1989.

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.

He said the military would pursue the armed group.

The United Nations estimates more than 690,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since fighting in the western state of Rakhine broke out last August.

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Myanmar's patchwork of ethnic groups make up around a third of the population.

Insurgents in Burma kill 19 in attack near China border