Myanmar’s borderlands are home to more than a dozen ethnic armed groups, some of which have fought the military for decades over autonomy and control of lucrative resources.
Some have trained and equipped newer “People’s Defence Forces” (PDF) that have sprung up since the coup and the military’s bloody crackdown on dissent.
In recent days PDF fighters had set “fire to government buildings, roads and bridges” in several townships in northern Sagaing region, the national security meeting was told.
Sagaing, home to mostly ethnic-majority Bamar, and a traditional recruiting ground for the military, has become a hotspot of resistance to junta rule.
Dozens of PDF groups are active across Sagaing, where the military is accused of burning villages and massacring inhabitants.
Earlier this week several PDF groups claimed to have seized the town of Kawlin in Sagaing.
AFP was unable to reach people in the town, where the military had cut phone and internet connections.
On Tuesday, Beijing, a major junta ally and arms supplier, confirmed there had been Chinese casualties as a result of the clashes in Myanmar.
A foreign ministry spokesperson did not say whether the Chinese were killed or wounded, nor where precisely the incident had taken place.
Local media in Myanmar reported on Saturday that one Chinese person was killed and another two wounded after the military shelled the town of Laiza, just inside the Myanmar border and home to the headquarters of ethnic armed group the Kachin Independence Army.
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