Activists in Myanmar have burned copies of a military-framed constitution in protest against Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s power grab, as neighbouring Thailand expressed “grave” concern over the security forces’ escalating crackdown on anti-coup protesters.
People again took to the streets of cities across Myanmar on Thursday, defying a security force clampdown that has killed at least 535 people since February 1 when the military deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
The demonstrations came as fighting intensified between Myanmar’s military and ethnic rebel groups in the country’s border areas – a development that a United Nations special envoy said increased the “possibility of civil war at an unprecedented scale”.
The DVB news outlet reported that 20 soldiers were killed and four military trucks destroyed in clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of Myanmar’s most powerful rebel groups. The fighting in the far north comes days after Myanmar military aircraft began bombing positions of another group, the Karen National Union (KNU) in the country’s east.
The clashes in the east have sent thousands of people fleeing to the Thai border.
Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler reports.