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21 May 2024

Ethnic rebels kill 8, wound 6 in Myanmar highway attack

By Agencies


Ethnic rebels attacked a passenger bus heading to the Myanmar-Thai border, killing eight people including an infant and a member of a rival group, a state-run newspaper reported Thursday.

Six other people were wounded in the Karen National Union’s attack Tuesday on the bus, which was carrying several members of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association, a breakaway group that reached a peace agreement with the military-led government in 1994, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.

The paper said KNU rebels detonated a land mine and fired guns at the bus as it headed from the southeastern town of Kawkareik to the border town of Myawaddy.

The KNU is the only major ethnic rebel group not to have concluded a peace agreement with the military government. Its separatist struggle in eastern Karen state is one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies.

Casualties identified in Tuesday’s attack included a DKBA member, an infant and passengers with no apparent connection to the separatist struggle, while the wounded included another DKBA member and a Buddhist monk, the paper said.

The army was searching for the insurgents.

“KNU insurgents are constantly committing destructive acts, such as undermining the stability of the state, community peace ... killing and bullying innocent people,” said the newspaper, a mouthpiece of the junta.

Myanmar has eight major ethnic groups and more than 100 sub-tribes. The military has ruled Myanmar since 1962 and has signed cease-fires with 17 armed ethnic groups. (AP)