Curfew imposed on Myanmar's conflict-hit Kokang region in northeast state


This photo taken on March 10, 2017 shows the remains of a burnt car left on a street in Lauk kai, along the China-Myanmar border in the northern Shan State of Myanmar. Photo: AFP

Curfew has been imposed on two townships in the Kokang region in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, which have been hit by armed conflicts. 

The information committee of the State Counselor's Office announced Saturday that the curfew took effect in the towns of Laukkai and Gongyang from Friday night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time. 

Renewed armed clashes broke out in the Kokang region Monday with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) launching offensive on the main town of Laukkai, resulting in dozens of casualties including civilians. 

At least five traffic police officers and five civilians were killed when the MNDAA attacked police posts and residential area in Laukkai. Four other traffic police officers were taken away by the MNDAA as hostages. 

MNDAA attacked Laukkai with small and heavy weapons, destroying some residential buildings, hotels and military camps and burning vehicles. 

Government troops have been making area clearance operation following the incident. Security forces found 20 charred corpses of the MNDAA soldiers and 10 pieces of weapons after the attack. 

Following the renewed outbreak of armed clashes, nearly 2,000 local residents have fled Laukkai to other nearby towns, taking refuge in 11 relief camps opened in Lashio, Thibaw, Namthu, Kutkai and Muse. 

The clashes followed a series of attacks by local armed groups on government military posts in the Shan State in November last year. At least eight people were killed and about 30 others injured, including civilians in those attacks.

Courtesy Global Times

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