MUSE (Reuters) – A gunbattle erupted on Sunday between Myanmar security forces and an alliance of armed ethnic groups opposed to February’s coup, at a town on the border with China, Myanmar media said.
The fighting at Muse, one of the main crossing points to China, was the latest to hit Myanmar since the coup led to an upsurge of conflict with insurgent groups in border regions, as well as bombings, shootings and arson across the country.
Gunfire broke out in Muse around dawn, broadcaster DVB and Khit Thit Media said. Khit Thit Media published pictures of what it said were civilian vehicles that were peppered with bullet holes.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Ethnic armed groups, suppressed for decades by Myanmar’s military leaders, have risen -- demanding greater autonomy since anti-coup protests swept the country.
The ethnic minority groups have been joined by new groups opposed to the coup.
Meanwhile, more than 125,000 school teachers - nearly a third of Myanmar’s total - have been suspended for joining the protests and strikes carried out daily against the military rule.
An official with the teachers’ federation said he had been told that charges raised against him would be dropped if he returned to work.
The junta seized power over alleged fraud in the general elections won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party in November.
The allegations of fraud have been dismissed by the former electoral commission, dozens of whose officials are now locked up.
At least 815 people have been killed in the harsh clampdown by security forces.
The European Union on Sunday denounced a proposal by Myanmar’s junta-appointed election commission to dissolve deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), which overwhelmingly won the general election in November.
“If the Commission were to proceed with this proposal, it would show yet again the junta’s blatant disregard for the will of Myanmar’s people and for due legal process,” a spokeswoman of the EU’s executive Commission said in a statement.
On Friday, media cited the chairman of the junta-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC), Thein Soe, as saying the panel would have to dissolve the NLD for committing vote fraud in the November election.