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Shan Armies Merge to Fight Military Junta

22 May 2005

Rebel fighters with the Shan State National Army in Burma have joined forces and merged with the Shan State Army, in an effort to reinvigorate their five-decade struggle for independence against Burma's military government.

The merger effectively breaks a 10-year cease-fire between the Shan State National Army and Rangoon.

Military leaders from the rebel groups agreed to join forces at a ceremony Saturday in Doi Talaeng, a remote Shan State Army base along the Burma-Thailand border. They called on ethnic Shan people in Burma and overseas to stand united and fight the military.

There was no immediate public comment from the government in Rangoon.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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