Rebel attack on military base in Myanmar | Free press

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Myanmar is not calm: thousands have demonstrated against the junta since the military coup. At the same time, the army is bombing ethnic minority areas. Now these strike back.

Yangon (dpa) – Fighters from a rebel group in Myanmar have reportedly attacked and captured a military base on the border with Thailand.

Armed forces of the Karen ethnic minority group had attacked the army post early Tuesday morning, a spokesman for the Karen National Union (KNU) resistance group of the German news agency confirmed. ‘The soldiers have fled. We don’t know yet if there were any deaths, ”said Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the head of foreign affairs at the KNU. “But we’ve taken the military post.”

Eyewitnesses reported seeing seven soldiers who had fled to the jungle, according to The Irrawaddy newspaper. The base was reportedly burned down. Videos on social networks showed flames and smoke rising over the River Salween from the Thaw Le Hta border post. The river on the country’s eastern border separates former Burma from neighboring Thailand.

After the coup d’état in early February, the military carried out repeated air strikes against ethnic minority areas, including the Karen. “More than 24,000 Karen civilians have fled into the jungle because the army attacked us from the air,” said Saw Taw No. “Jets fly over the villages every day, so people don’t dare to return.”

On Tuesday, a few hours after the fighting, the military responded with new air strikes in the border area, Saw Taw said No. “We don’t have any details yet, nor do we know how many people died.”

Some armed groups in the multi-ethnic state, who have been fighting for more autonomy for decades, are supporting the anti-coup protests that have been going on for months. Thousands of people have already fled to neighboring Thailand as a result of the violence.

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