Myanmar military claims total control of Kokang region
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 16:08, March 26, 2015
YANGON, March 26 -- Myanmar military has claimed total control of Kokang region in northeastern Shan state, according to the ruling party's Union Daily on Thursday.
However, heavy engagements between the two sides reportedly continued in the region over the past week almost on a daily basis amid peace talks in Yangon.
Myanmar military has called on the Kokang ethnic army to lay down their arms, the report said.
Myanmar military operation headquarters of Laukkai told Xinhua in a telephone interview earlier that the government forces have occupied all key strategic hilltops in the region in military offensives, forcing the MNDAA to retreat.
Laukkai has regained stability with some shops being opened by regional people for business, the headquarters added.
Unconfirmed statistics show that, as of now, the government side has suffered 112 deaths with 287 wounded, while 104 bodies have been seized from the MNDAA with 30 being arrested.
Heavy fighting broke out on Feb. 9 between the government forces and the MNDAA in Kokang region involving air strike by the government forces.
Meanwhile, Peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups agreed in their ongoing peace talks in Yangon to raise conflict-hit Kokang as a separate issue to be discussed after the end of the present seventh round of peace talks at the request of ethnic armed groups' Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) which is making peace deal with the government's Union Peace-Making Work Committee (UPWC).
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