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Myanmar military continues airstrikes in Karen state

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/31/21, 02:39 am

The military junta in Myanmar, also known as Burma, killed six people and injured 12 others during Tuesday’s airstrikes. Some 12,000 people are internally displaced after weeks of violence, and as many as 3,000 fled into neighboring Thailand over the weekend before being sent back by Thai officers. The Karen National Union, which represents the Karen minority, said military ground troops are advancing into the territory from all fronts and vowed to respond.

Why the escalation in fighting? Fighting began in late December as the military built new roads and camps in violation of a ceasefire agreement. On Saturday, Karen forces attacked a military outpost, killing 10 soldiers and capturing 8. That night, the military dropped bombs on a village in Papun District, the first airstrikes in 20 years, according to Free Burma Rangers. The military is also responding with deadly force to anti-coup protests in major cities. On Tuesday, the Three Brothers Alliance –– which represents guerrilla armies from other minority Rakhine, Kokang and, Ta-ang regions –– threatened to abandon a ceasefire if the attack on protesters continues.

Dig deeper: Read Angela Lu Fulton’s WORLD Magazine report on the coup and the ongoing battle in Karen state.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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