19 killed in fight between Myanmar army and rebels

19 killed in fight between Myanmar army and rebels

The conflict in the north of Myanmar has escalated over the past month and the latest attack marks a further setback for civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi's stated priority of achieving peace amid a stuttering transition from full military rule.

Nineteen people including 15 civilians were killed and 27 others injured by a series of attacks by the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), in Muse of the northern Shan State on the morning of May 12, according to Director-General of Myanmar State Counsellor Office U Zaw Htay's facebook.

Suspected ethnic minority insurgents have launched attacks in eastern Myanmar, leaving 19 people dead and 29 wounded.

The conflict, including in the northern-most state of Kachin, has escalated over the past month as the global focus remains on the Rohingya crisis in the west of the country.

The TNLA is among more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups that have been fighting the government for greater autonomy for decades.

Human rights groups on Saturday urged Myanmar to drop charges against activists protesting military offensives in Kachin State, which borders Shan State.

Pictures of burned out vehicles and armed men running for cover spread quickly on social media.

He called the operation "terrorism".

Thousands of people have been displaced in the country's northern-most state of Kachin since April amid renewed fighting between the army and ethnic insurgents. He told dpa earlier that just 17 people were killed in the attack.

It is unclear if members of the powerful KIA took part in the attacks yesterday.

The United Nations estimates more than 690,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since fighting in the western state of Rakhine broke out last August. "We are sorry. But it's hard to say how they were killed during the fighting", said the TNLAA spokesman.

Myanmar's patchwork of ethnic groups make up around a third of the population.