Millennium Post

Deadly clashes in Myanmar threaten rebel peace bid

At least eight persomns were killed and thousands were displaced in clashes between rebels and border forces in southeast Myanmar on Monday. The situation threatens to undercut the new government's push for peace.

The fight broke out this month between government troops and an ethnic rebel splinter group known as the DKBA in Karen state, near the border with Thailand.

More than 4,000 people have fled the violence so far.

Video footage shows dozens of women and children packed into a monastery, some taking food packets from aid groups, while others rifled through piles of donated clothing. The clashes come just weeks after Aung San Suu Kyi's government held a landmark summit, aimed at ending almost seven decades of ethnic insurgencies.

The Nobel laureate has made brokering peace with the patchwork of armed minorities fighting the state a priority.

But the ongoing fighting in Kachin and Shan states overshadowed the talks and ending the complex, protracted conflicts is expected to take years.

The clashes further south add to the uncertainty.

An officer from the DKBA said four of their soldiers were killed and five wounded in recent days. Meanwhile, Major Naing Maung Zaw from Myanmar's Border Guard Forces said several of their troops were hit by landmines planted by rebels.

"Four soldiers from the Myanmar Tatmadaw and our (border guard forces) were killed and some 40 injured by the fighting in the past few days," he said. Distrust of the Tatmadaw, as the army is known, runs deep among ethnic groups after decades of oppression under the former military junta.
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