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Burmese military declares martial law in border city after attack

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Military imposed martial law in Mindat city after protests and attacks. (via Bloomberg)

After blaming attacks on a bank and a police station on armed terrorist the Burmese military Junta has declared martial law in the town of Mindat in Chin State. Ethnic rebels have been increasingly battling the military in these border regions – the Chin State borders India – and about 100 people were reported over the last 2 days to have launched an attack on the police station using homemade guns while 50 more people sieged the Myanmar Economic Bank.

State media reported that Burmese military forces quashed the attacks that lead to the martial law declaration without sustaining any casualties, though international news outlets have been unable to confirm any details. Local media aligning against the junta claim that the skirmishes erupted after the Burmese military broke a deal to release 7 recently detained protesters, and claimed that the martial law was invalid. a new militia called the Chinland Defense Force claimed responsibility for the attacks and supported the local media account of events.

That militia say that one of their members was killed in the confrontation and that the military has called in reinforcements. They claim that the junta is losing power in rural areas and can only maintain strongholds in the cities they have military bases in. The martial law declaration comes as the Burmese military continues to try to maintain control amidst daily protests in major cities and violent conflict in border states since their February 1 coup.

The People’s Defence Forces, a group formed last week by the National Unity Government of leaders deposed in the coup, have been working to coalesce support against a common enemy between the protesters in cities and ethnic insurgents who have long fought the oppressive military. These insurgents have assassinated junta leaders and clashed frequently with Burmese military security forces in attacks like the one leading to martial law today.

Still, Pro-democracy demonstrators marched through Yangon today, with videos surfacing on social media showing their defiant chant, “we believe that we gonna win, we must win, we must win”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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