|Geann Pineda |||Feb 19, 2015 07:33 AM EST|
(Photo : Reuters) People who are displaced by the fighting in Laukkai run towards a rescue convoy, February 17, 2015.
Tens of thousands of civilians have fled Myanmar as fighting continues to escalate in the Chinese border.
Over 90,000 refugees have crossed into China's Yunnan province to escape the violence, with many still believed to be trapped in the clashes. The death toll is rising.
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Myanmar President Thein Sein has declared a state of emergency and martial law in the embattled Kokang region. He had also granted the military unprecendented powers to deal with the rebels in any manner it sees fit.
Burma's military chief Min Aung Hlaing, who had defeated the ethnic Kokang militants back in 2009, had been tasked to put an end to insurgency once again.
Fighting continues to rage near the town of Laukai in the Myanmar-Chinese border, since the Kokang militants launched an offensive against government troops on February 9th. Dozens of civilians and soldier were killed in the attack.
The resurgence of conflict had blocked efforts from both sides to reach a ceasefire deal. The government said it was working on its efforts to sign a ceasefire agreement with the rebels when the Kokang militants began attacking government troops.
But analysts said with high ranking officials of the militant group joining in the offensive, the deal has most likely faltered.
Despite efforts to reach a peace deal, the relationship between the ethnic rebels in the northeastern Shan state and the government had turn sour since an attack by army troops on a rebels' training camp in November killed dozens of cadets.
The president vowed to keep a tight grip on every inch of Myanmar's territory. Myanmar also appeals to China to rein in any of its local officials found to be assisting the rebels on the border.
China had earlier expressed concern over the fighting, saying it could lead to border instability of both parties do not practice restraint.
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