World Bulletin / News Desk
At least one civilian has died and several others were injured Sunday when an ethnic armed group attacked a trade zone in Myanmar's restive Shan State near the country's northern border with China.
The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) confirmed to Anadolu Agency that an alliance of three armed groups in northeastern Shan not involved in the country's peace process attacked police outposts at 105th Mile Trade Zone in Muse Township early Sunday morning.
Tar Aik Kyaw from the TNLA’s News and Information Department underlined that that the attack is to draw public attention to fighting in mountainous Shan.
“We want the local and international community to see that the ongoing fighting is due to the military advancing into our territory,” he said by phone.
TNLA, the Arakan Army, and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance party, are collectively known as the Northern Alliances.
The previous government excluded the Alliances from participating in the country’s peace process and from signing last year's major peace deal.
Since independence from Britain in 1948, Myanmar (then Burma) has seen over a half-century of armed conflict, with ethnic rebels embarking on a longstanding battle for greater autonomy and self-administration.
On replacing the military junta in 2011, former President Thein Sein’s administration started peace talks with rebels, which led to a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with eight of 21 ethnic groups in October 2015.
However, several major rebel groups -- including the powerful Kachin Independence Army (KIA) -- refrained when the government excluded three groups.
On Sunday morning, a police officer in Muse town said at least one civilian had died of a bullet wound while being taking to hospital, and over a dozen had been injured.
“Some police and some custom officials were also injured,” the officer told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to media.
“We can still hear gunfire,” he said.
According to the United Nations humanitarian body, some 4,000 people were displaced in February by fighting between the TNLA and The Shan State Army-South, a signatory group to the government-sponsored NCA.
Tar Aik Kyaw said that thousands of government troops had been deployed to the areas where the TNLA operates since February.
“It seems the military is planning to eradicate us from the area,” he claimed.Last Mod: 20 Kasım 2016, 11:36