Conflicts & War

Myanmar army, rebels intensify fighting in important city near China

Bangkok, Dec 30 (EFE).- Fighting between the Myanmar military junta and opposition rebels has intensified in the city of Laukkai, near the border with China, after Beijing urged its citizens to leave the city.

The Myanmar Army, which carried out a coup in February 2021, plunging the country into a deep crisis, has increased its air attacks throughout the city, media opposed to the military regime reported Saturday.

A resident of Laukkai, which has remained practically deserted since the fighting began in November, told the Mizzima news site that the military troops bombed the city Thursday night, in the northeastern Shan state, after throwing sheets asking the locals to flee. .

Photographs and videos posted on social media show the intensity of the bombings in the middle of the night.

Most of the city is under the control of the Myanmar Democratic Alliance Army, one of the three guerrillas that launched an offensive on Oct. 27 that represents the main challenge for the military junta since its uprising.

Laukkai is known for hosting casinos and centers where victims of human trafficking are forced to carry out cyber scams. It’s one of the reasons, in addition to fighting the Myanmar Army, the Arakan Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army to undertake “Operation 1027.”

In addition, the taking of the city would represent a blow to the army, which in 2009 wrestled control of the city from the rebels in a campaign led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, who is at the head of the military junta.

On Thursday, before the airstrikes began, the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar asked its citizens to leave the city “as soon as possible” because “security risks have increased” in a message on its Facebook account. the Wechat messaging application.

China, which maintains a close relationship with the junta and historical ties with some of the guerrillas in conflict, has tried to mediate between the parties, but the ceasefire supposedly reached in mid-December was broken almost immediately.

Since the beginning of this offensive launched by the three guerrillas, the fighting – which had already been recorded since the coup – has spread to other areas of the north, west, center and south of the country, with the joining of more ethnic rebel groups and the pro-democratic patriotic defense forces.

The 2021 coup put an end to a decade of democratic transition in Myanmar and the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, detained since the uprising, exacerbating the war that the country has been experiencing for decades with the emergence of new anti-junta militias. EFE


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