14 Jun '11, 8am

Myanmar government battles rebels near Chinese border: BANGKOK - GOVERNMENT troops in Myanmar have attacked one

BANGKOK - GOVERNMENT troops in Myanmar have attacked one of the country's powerful northern militias with artillery in a bid to force rebel fighters from a strategic region where China is constructing major hydropower plants. The fighting has killed at least four people and forced 2,000 more to flee since it started on Thursday, according to the US Campaign for Burma. The violence is some of the most serious in Myanmar since the country's military junta handed power to a civilian government in March, a move critics say is a simply a proxy for continued military rule. The new government has said it wants to improve ties with ethnic minorities that have waged rebellions along the border, but the latest fighting underscores the deep tension that remains. The rebels involved in the most recent clashes belong to the Kachin, one of Myanmar's sizable ethnic minorities. Those grou...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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