Military closely monitoring clashes in Myanmar

By Zhang Zhihao | | Updated: 2016-11-21 11:20

The Chinese military has been closely monitoring the situation in northern Myanmar, urging all parties in the conflict to exercise restraint to avoid escalation and respect China's sovereignty and security, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry added the military was on high alert and would take necessary measures to maintain security and protect the lives and properties of Chinese citizens.

Fighting broke out between ethnic militant forces and the Burmese military in northern villages bordering China around 2 am on Sunday. Chinese villagers living in Wanding Town, Yunnan province, reported stray bombs falling across the border and one villager's rooftop solar water heater was damaged, according to CCTV China Central Television.

Authorities in Wanding Town have activated an emergency response mechanism and deployed more armed police along the border to maintain order. Some Myanmar refugees have fled into Chinese territory and the injured were taken to hospitals for medical treatment, the Chinese embassy in Myanmar said.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang said China has urged all sides involved in the clashes in Myanmar to stay calm, and to immediately halt military operations. He said China hopes all sides can resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation, in order to ensure peace in Myanmar.

The fighting occurred in Muse and Kutkai, border towns in Myanmar's Shan state. Three ethnic armed groups, including the Kachin Independence Army, led the attack.

At least one civilian was killed and six wounded during the conflict, but local media reported more than 10 causalities, including soldiers, a policeman, local residents and tourists, according to Xinhua. In recent years, conflict between the ethnic militant forces and the military have intensified.

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