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Fighting erupts in eastern Myanmar as Karen rebels attack military base near Thai border (VIDEOS)

Fighting erupts in eastern Myanmar as Karen rebels attack military base near Thai border (VIDEOS)
Gunfire was heard in eastern Myanmar on Tuesday, as an armed rebel group attacked and claimed to seize a military base strategically located by the Salween River on the Thai border.

The Karen National Union (KNU), which has clashed with Myanmar’s security forces since the country secured independence in the 1940s, claimed victory in the skirmish over a military camp, having launched an assault on the outpost at around 5am local time.

Fires were reported to be blazing in the area around the outpost. Thai officials confirmed that fighting had been heard and the nearby port was closed due to the clashes, but did not confirm whether the Karen rebels were behind the attack. 

Myanmar’s authorities have not commented on the situation.

KNLA Brigade 5 spokesperson, Saw Kler Doh, told the Karen Information Center that Tuesday’s assault was in response to the military firing on boats passing along the Salween River.

Reports from Myanmar media state that the military has already begun retaliatory airstrikes on the area following the rebel group’s attack. It’s not yet clear whether there have been any casualties or fatalities from Tuesday’s fighting.

This would not be the first time that the KNU has successfully defeated security forces and overrun a military facility. In March, the group seized a site at Thee Mu Hta in the Karen state, killing five soldiers and taking eight prisoner. In retaliation, Myanmar’s military launched airstrikes that killed 14 civilians and wounded others, according to Free Burma Rangers, an aid group in the area.

Also on rt.com Myanmar junta tells its neighbors ‘return to stability’ is a must before it eases violent crackdown on anti-coup protesters

Violence has become a daily occurrence in Myanmar, as people protest over the military seizing power in the February 1 coup and detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. At least 750 civilians are believed to have died since the junta took power, according to a monitoring group in the country.

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