Fighters from an alliance of rebel groups have reportedly attacked a police station in a further escalation after the military coup.
An alliance of ethnic armies in Myanmar that opposed the general’s crackdown on anti-coup protests attacked a police station in the east on Saturday and killed at least 10 policemen, local media said. .
Naungmon Police Station in Shan State was attacked early in the morning by fighters from an alliance that includes the Rakhine Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the military. of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance, media reported.
Shan News said at least 10 police officers were killed, while media outlet Shwe Phee Myay estimated the death toll at 14.
An army spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment.
Tony Cheng, of Al Jazeera, who reports from neighboring Thailand, noted that the ethnic armies are among the oldest in the world, having fought central government forces for decades.
“Since the coup, there has been a lot of talk about armed groups operating together, but we have never seen it before. Today, three people acted together, joined forces, attacked this Myanmar police-manned outpost, killing a number of policemen, ”Cheng said, adding that the assault took place over more than two hours earlier on Saturday.
More than 600 people have been killed by the military in the crackdown on protests against the February 1 coup, according to a monitoring group. As the violence escalated, a dozen armed groups condemned the perpetrators as illegitimate and pledged to support the protesters.
Civilian lawmakers, most of whom are in hiding after their elimination, have announced plans to form a “government of national unity” – with key roles for ethnic leaders – and are holding discussions online about joint resistance to the generals.
Dozens of bodies
Meanwhile, reports from Myanmar indicate that dozens of people may have been killed in a military assault on anti-coup protesters in the town of Bago. About 60 people may have died in the clashes in the city, about 60 km northeast of Yangon, according to Radio Free Asia citing witnesses.
The Myanmar Now news site quoted a leader of the protest as saying dozens of bodies were brought inside a pagoda where the army was based. Witnesses cited by both media reported hours of gunfire which began early Friday.
Protests against the February coup continued on Saturday in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Sagaing, Myeik and many other cities.
The military crackdown also included reports that protesters were allegedly tortured in detention and given severe sentences.
On Friday, the military handed down death sentences against 19 people from the northern Okkalapa suburb of Yangon. They were accused of beating an army captain, according to Radio Free Asia.
The military coup rejected the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest.