Myanmar denies using chemical weapons on rebels
YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar denied accusations it had used chemical weapons against ethnic minority rebels in the northern state of Kachin, where an escalating conflict has overshadowed wider political reforms.
"Our military never uses chemical weapons, and we have no intention to use them at all. I think the KIA (Kachin Independence Army) is accusing us wrongly," presidential spokesman Ye Htut said.
The rebels on Wednesday told AFP that the army had stepped up its operations in recent days, allowing troops to take territory in a push towards the KIA stronghold of Laiza on the border with China.
"It is already three days (they have) used chemical weapons (and) they are able to occupy very important posts," KIA spokesman James Lum Dau told AFP.