Myanmar air bases come under rocket fire

 

On Thursday, the military announced that two Myanmar air force bases came under rocket attack as the country is plunged into violence since February 1 coup.

 

Myanmar has seen deadly clashes since the generals seized power, ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and unleashed a wave of near-daily street protests calling for a return to democracy.

According to a local monitoring group, security forces have resorted to a  brutal crackdown on protesters, with more than 750 civilian lives lost.

 

There have been escalating fights between the military and Myanmar’s numerous ethnic rebel armies, some of which have backed the protests and accommodated activists on the run from the junta.

According to a military spokesman, air bases in the central cities of Magway and Meiktila came under rocket attacks early on Thursday morning, but no damage was recorded.

 

It has not been established those responsible for the attacks. Though, the military has launched airstrikes in recent weeks against the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the leading ethnic rebel armies.

The KNU, which holds territory along the border with Thailand, Tuesday attacked and razed an army post, prompting the military to respond with fresh airstrikes.

 

The increased clashes between the military and ethnic rebels have prompted some observers, including the UN, to warn that the country’s crisis could degenerate into a bigger conflict.

Over 756 civilians have been neutralized, and more than 4,500 arbitrarily arrested in the military’s crackdown on protests, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local monitoring group.

 

The military authorities labeled the AAPP an unlawful organization. Say only 258 protesters have been killed, along with 17 police officers and seven soldiers.

 

Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since February 1 and apparently kept unaware of the chaos raging in the country. She has been slammed with a raft of charges that could see her barred from politics for life.

 

According to state media, protest leaders are also facing legal action with one, Wai Moe Naing, charged with murder and treason.

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