YANGON (DPA) – Combat between the military and ethnic rebels in north-eastern Myanmar has claimed more than 200 lives since the beginning of the year, the government said Saturday.
State-run media claimed control of strategic hilltops in the Kokang region of Shan state, after more than 250 armed clashes with ethnic Kokang rebels of the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army.
At least 126 soldiers were killed in the renewed fighting, it said.
But a rebel spokesman claimed that his forces were still in control.
"We also lost at least 90 members in the fighting since early January, but we can still control our region," Htut Myat Lin said.
The government imposed a state of emergency and martial law in the Kokang region shortly after the fighting broke out.
The United Nationalities Federal Council, an alliance of 16 ethnic armed groups, urged the government to find peaceful solutions to the conflict in the Kokang region.
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