This photo shows soldiers in a military truck, amid the night-time arrests of anti-coup activists. AFP
The fighting in Mindat, Chin state, underlines the growing chaos in Myanmar as the junta struggles to impose authority in the face of daily protests, strikes and sabotage attacks after overthrowing elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The junta imposed martial law in Mindat on Thursday and then stepped up attacks on what it called "armed terrorists". A spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment on the fighting on Saturday.
Protesters run as one of them discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas in Yangon. File/AP
Residents taking cover in the town said fighting raged on Saturday.
"There are soldiers everywhere," said one man. Video shot by one resident of the hilly town and shared on social media showed a helicopter gunship firing a rocket. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the video.
The Irrawaddy news service said some homes had been destroyed as the army resumed artillery bombardment on Saturday.
"We are living in a nightmare. Mindat is literally a war zone," a 32-year-old resident who gave his name as Mang told Reuters from the town late on Friday.
"They are using heavy artillery, mortar shells against us. We cannot fight that, we are exhausting most of our ammunition and we are risking everything... I think there is a chance we may be slaughtered. We try our best to defend ourselves but we may not last much longer."
Protesters react after tear gas was fired during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon. File/AFP
Myanmar already had some two dozen ethnic armed groups, who have waged war for decades against an army dominated by the Bamar majority. The Chinland Defence Force was set up in response to the coup.
Reuters was unable to reach the group for comment on Saturday.
The junta-controlled Myanmar News Agency said fighting on Wednesday and Thursday in Mindat involved 100 people who attacked a police station and about 50 targeting the state-run Myanmar Economic Bank.
A local lawmaker said the fighting erupted after the military refused to release seven local youths detained by authorities.
The number of casualties was unclear.
At least 788 people have been killed by the junta's security forces in crackdowns on protests against its rule, according to an advocacy group.
The military, which disputes that number, imposes tight restrictions on media, information and the internet. Reuters cannot independently verify arrests and casualty numbers.
The images ricochet across the planet, as so many do in this dizzying era of film it, upload it, tell it to the world: scenes from a protest-turned-government crackdown, captured at ground level by smartphone users on the streets of Myanmar.
Protesting alone outside an Australian hospital where the son of Myanmar’s attorney general works as a doctor, Burmese electrical engineer Susu San is determined to let the military junta know their children will be hounded wherever they go.
Witnesses reported the sound of gunfire and stun grenades in different parts of the commercial capital Yangon during the night, while state media on Monday said security forces were keeping a presence at hospitals and universities as part of efforts to enforce the law.
A third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, according to a poll of medical experts.
He added, “What we experience today will become something of the past tomorrow. Joining university and getting a degree was the ultimate end of our parents, but I assure you that education will never come to an end."
In a flash of a second, the men started to climb the pipe attached to the building forming a human chain.