The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Jan 02, 2013
 

Myanmar army uses airstrikes as conflict escalates

 
 

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's army has used air strikes against northern ethnic rebels, sources from both sides said on Wednesday, in an escalation of a conflict that has raised doubts over the country's reform drive.

Fighting between the country's military, known as the 'Tatmadaw', and the armed wing of the KIO (Kachin Independence Organisation) has worsened in recent days as the army battled to regain one of its bases, a government negotiator involved in peace efforts said.

"We heard the military used helicopters and training jets while trying to get their camp back," said Hla Maung Shwe, who is also an adviser to President Thein Sein.

He declined to specify how the aircraft were used, but a report on the military's Burmese language Myawaddy news website said a key base had been seized from the rebels on December 30 "with the help of air strikes in the region".