Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Myanmar authority explains Loikaw clashes as ‘terrorist raid’

Myanmar authority explains Loikaw clashes as ‘terrorist raid’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. FACEBOOK

Myanmar authority explains Loikaw clashes as ‘terrorist raid’

The Myanmar State Administration Council- (SAC) appointed foreign ministry on January 21 described the skirmishes in Kayah state capital Loikaw 10 days earlier as an attack staged by “terrorists”.

It said in a statement that the ethnic armed group Karenni National Progressive Party and civilian militias known as People’s Defence Forces had conducted a raid by “taking positions in residential areas – houses, governmental and religious buildings”, among other locations.

“The ’terrorist groups’ … [were] using local civilians as human shields and deliberately attacking civilian targets”.

“The ‘terrorists’ did not allow the innocent local civilians who wished to move to safe places during the incident. Instead, they used the civilians as human shields,” the statement said.

Myanmar has been in chaos since February 1, 2021, when the military dissolved the civilian-led administration over alleged election irregularities and declared a one-year state of emergency.

The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, formed the SAC the following day, as the primary ruling body, with Defence Services commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing as chairman.

The January 21 statement comes in response to concerns raised by a number of countries and international organisations, the authority noted.

It underlined that while it found that some observations were offered in a constructive manner, others were ostensibly made with the intent to “exert undue political pressure on Myanmar based on information emanating from unverifiable sources, anti-government organisations, media and ‘terrorist groups’”.

The state’s “security forces responded [to] the ‘terrorists’ with utmost restraint not to harm innocent civilians. The ‘terrorist groups’ also launched attacks on Loikaw prison to instigate unrest and disrupt stability in the city”, the statement said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Myanmar's SAC-appointed foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin in November last year. MYANMAR FOREIGN MINISTRY

“The security forces were compelled to seek aerial and artillery supports in countering the ‘terrorists’. However, they did not attack innocent civilians. It is learnt that, no innocent civilian was injured and some of the buildings in the prison and civilian buildings suffered collateral damages during the attacks.

“As such, countries and international organisations should reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” it added.

The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has also expressed serious concern over the intense clashes in Loikaw.

Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry on January 20 said the ongoing violence is jeopardising the progress achieved during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent visit to Myanmar.

During his Myanmar trip, Hun Sen spoke of the success of Cambodia’s win-win policy, which he said eventually brought about national reconciliation, comprehensive peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Kingdom, according to Sounry.

“In this spirit, we are of the view that all parties concerned must accept the ceasefire and end all acts of violence while exercising the utmost restraint in order to start a dialogue that will establish favourable conditions leading to the reestablishment of peace in the country,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the