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Myanmar anti-junta bomb attack on security forces near Yangon

Myanmar anti-junta dissidents have administered a bomb attack on security forces near Yangon, with several killed in an ensuing firefight, the military and media said.

The neighbouring nation has been in turmoil since the military toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February, sparking mass pro-democracy protests and a bloody crackdown by the military.

Various townships across Myanmar have formed so-called “people defence forces” to fight back against the junta, although the majority of clashes are reported in rural areas.

Security forces were travelling through Khayan, a suburb of Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon on Friday after they were attacked with a homemade bomb, the junta said during a statement on Saturday.

“Both groups fired back and forth — a member of the safety forces was injured,” the statement said, adding that firearms and ammunition were confiscated after the clash.

“Some terrorists were… (killed), one among them was wounded.”

Local media reported a minimum of two dissidents were killed and one arrested.

Earlier this month a “National Unity Government” made up mostly of lawmakers affiliated with Suu Kyi’s ousted party involved a “people’s defensive war” and urged civilians to focus on junta assets.

Communications towers belonging to the military-owned Mytel company are targeted across Myanmar.

The conflict has also intensified within the Sagaing and Magway regions, where locals in the week accused the military of burning down homes and displacing thousands.

“The military has been crushing our region due to the local resistance forces,” a 25-year-old woman from Magway’s Gangaw township told.

“I lost a number of my friends… I’m heartbroken because I had witnessed all their atrocities with my very own eyes.”

Another Gangaw township resident said in one of its hardest-hit villages, Namg Kar, many homes are razed since Sept 10 — a start-stop process over the past week as monsoon rains kept dousing the flames.

“They tried to burn down the entire village. But it had been season,” said the resident, adding that Namg Kar’s 4,000 residents have fled to a close-by jungle.

“They are scared of the military as they might come any time to the village,” he said.

Images obtained showed Namg Kar villagers carrying buckets of water as smoke rose within the distance, while remains of burnt foundations smouldered.

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