At least 20 dead in clashes in Myanmar

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At least 20 people have been killed by Burmese security forces in the Irrawaddy Delta region in clashes with villagers, local media and residents reported; fighting was also reported in the north and east of the country.

This would be the heaviest civilian death toll in nearly two months.

The army has struggled to impose its control in Burma since February, when it returned to power in a coup.

The coup ousted democratically elected leader Aug San Suu Kyi after a decade of democratic reforms that opened up this long isolated Southeast Asian country.

Demonstrations against the junta are held daily in many parts of the country, also crippled by strikes, while tensions with armed ethnic groups opposed to the military have escalated.

Clashes were reported on Saturday in the Irrawaddy agricultural region, important for its rice production.

According to a resident, they started before dawn in Kyonpyaw, 150 km northwest of Rangoon, when soldiers came to arrest a man suspected of arms trafficking and were greeted by a bomb explosion. .

Villagers armed with slingshots and crossbows retaliated against the soldiers in charge of the search operations.

Reuters was unable to contact a junta spokesperson for comment on the clashes or other reported fighting in Myanmar.

Since the coup, at least 845 people have been killed by security forces and over 4,500 have been. jailed, according to activist data. The military in power dispute these figures.

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