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Myanmar's Kokang fighting continues amid state of emergency

By Ians

Yangon, Feb 19: Fighting between Myanmar's government forces and the Kokang ethnic army in northeastern Shan state, continued over the last two days amid government's declaration of state of emergency, official reports said on Thursday.

About 200-strong Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army ( MNDAA), which the government terms as Kokang renegade groups, attacked the government troops near Parsink Yaw village with small and heavy weapons but withdrew when counter-attacks were launched.


The government troops who were heading to Laukkai on major communication route to reinforce its battalions were also respectively ambushed by the MNDAA, Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Shan State Army (SSA)- Wanghai for several times in a number of areas in the state, the report said.

In the fighting since Feb 15, three government force personnel and two local civilians were killed, while 32 others including one military officer and six local civilians injured, the report added.

The Myanmar government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Kokang region imposing martial law in the region following week-long armed clashes between the two sides.

The announcement of the President's Office said armed clashes in the Kokang region have caused widespread chaos leading to the failure of local administration mechanism despite earlier imposition of a curfew order since February 12.

The state of emergency would be effective for 90 days, the announcement said.

The military administrative order empowered Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing to assume administrative and judiciary power in the Kokang self-administered zone.

The defence chief again re-empowered Col Saw Myint Oo, the Laukkai Regional Commander, to exercise the executive and judicial powers for military administration in the zone.

Heavy fighting first broke out Feb 9 between government forces and the MNDAA in Kokang region. During the earlier week- long clashes up to February 15, government forces carried out five air strikes against the Kokang army.

The government forces claimed 26 bodies of the Kokang army, seizing some small weapons and ammunition during that fighting, while 47 of its forces lost their lives with 73 others being wounded.

The battlefield mainly covered areas of Laukkai, Koneyan and Yan Lone Kyaine of Kokang region.


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