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News ID: 90258
Publish Date : 16 May 2021 - 21:40
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YANGON (Dispatches) – At least five opposition fighters have been killed after days of clashes in Myanmar, an anti-junta militia said Sunday.
The country has been in uproar since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 1 coup, triggering a massive uprising which authorities have sought to quell with lethal force.
Some in the anti-junta movement have set up local militias armed with home-made weapons to protect their towns from security forces -- which have killed at least 790 civilians according to a local monitoring group.
In the western state of Chin, the town of Mindat has emerged as a hotspot for unrest, where some residents have formed the Chinland Defence Force (CDF).
"We have at least five members killed and over 10 were wounded” this week, said a CDF spokesman, adding that five Mindat residents were also arrested by the military.
With mobile data blocked across the country, details about the fighting have been slow to come out, and on-the-ground verification is made harder as locals are fearful of retaliation.
The spokesman, who declined to be named, told AFP that CDF fighters set fire to several army trucks, destroying them, and ambushed reinforcement troops, while the military has attacked the town with artillery.
By Sunday, the CDF had retreated into the jungle, he said.
On Saturday, Myanmar’s military has launched a fierce battle against anti-coup armed fighters to quell the widespread protests.
Citing local authorities and witnesses, media reports said on Saturday that Myanmar’s army attacked fighters of the Chinland Defense Force in Mindat, in what was described as "some of the heaviest” rounds of fighting with local armed groups opposing the military coup.
Myanmar’s anti-coup National Unity Government (NUG), set up by lawmakers who were blocked by the army from taking their seats in parliament following the coup, warned in a statement that, "Within the next 48 hours, Mindat can potentially become a battleground and thousands of people are facing the danger of being displaced.”
The military was said to have launched the battle against the fighters with artillery bombardments and helicopter attacks.
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