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Dozens of Myanmar Troops Killed on Border

by VOA News February 13, 2015

Clashes between government troops and ethnic Kokang rebels near the Chinese border in Myanmar - also known as Burma - has left 47 soldiers dead and 73 wounded, state media said Friday.

The Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported Friday that the government had notified Beijing, because fighting, which has raged since February 9, had forced thousands of civilians to flee across the border into China.

The paper said that a Kokang renegade group had attacked military stations with the objective of capturing Laukai, the capital of the self-administered Kokang zone near the border. It was not known how many rebels had been killed or wounded.

The Kokang was formerly a pro-communist fighting force that battled the government until signing a ceasefire in 1989. Fighting resumed in 2009.

The clashes in Shan State, in the northeast, has alarmed China, which fears an influx of villagers fleeing violence and called this week for peace on the border.

"China provided them with necessary assistance out of humanitarian consideration. I think they will return to Myanmar as soon as the situation calms down. We hope that all sides in Myanmar can work hard with China to quieten down the situation and return the border as soon as possible to peace and tranquility so these border residents can go home," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a briefing in Beijing, without giving a number of the refugees.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.

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