Two Myanmar air bases come under attack - GulfToday

Two Myanmar air bases come under attack


Ethnic minority Karen troops are seen after setting fire to a building inside a Myanmar army outpost. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Unidentified attackers launched assaults on two Myanmar air bases on Thursday, with blasts reported at one base and rocket fire seen at another, media and a witness said.

Early reports say Myanmar government forces launched airstrikes against ethnic minority guerrillas in two areas of the country on Wednesday.

The attacks come after three months of turmoil in Myanmar triggered by a Feb. 1 military coup. There was no claim of responsibility or any confirmation of any casualties in the attacks.


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Fighting has been raging daily in northern Myanmar in territory controlled by the Kachin Independence Organization, representing the Kachin minority, and in the east by the Karen National Union, representing the Karen.

A military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment, according to Reuters.

Most protests in cities and town around the country are carried out by non-violent demonstrators.

Both groups have struck alliances with the popular movement opposing the military junta that seized power in the country in February after ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

In the first attack on Thursday, three blasts went off at an air base near the central town of Magway in the early hours, the Delta News Agency reported in a post on Facebook.

Security checks were stepped up on roads outside the base after the blasts, the news portal said.

Later, five rockets were fired at one of the country's main air bases, at Meiktila, to the northeast of Magway, reporter Than Win Hlaing, who was near the base at the time, said in a post.

A hardcore faction of protesters armed themselves with homemade weapons.

The attack on Bago was the third in the past week involving the massive use of force to try to crush the persistent opposition to the ruling junta.

He also posted a video clip that included the sound of what appeared to be a rocket flying overhead followed by a blast. Reuters could not verify the clip.

Since the ouster of an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, pro-democracy protests have rocked cities and towns, and the military has cracked down with lethal force, killing 756 people, according to an activist group. Reuters is unable to confirm the casualty toll.

Fighting between the military and ethnic minority insurgents has also flared since the coup with the military launching numerous air strikes in border lands in the north and east.

While the armed forces have been battling insurgents in frontier regions for decades, attacks on such high-profile military facilities in central areas have been rare.



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