Anti-coup militia says at least five dead in Myanmar clashes

YANGON (AFP) – At least five opposition rebels have been killed after days of clashes in Myanmar, an anti-junta militia said yesterday, as Britain and the United States (US) condemned the military’s violence against civilians.

The country has been in uproar since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a February 1 coup, triggering a massive uprising which authorities have sought to quell with lethal force.

Some in the anti-junta movement have set up local militias armed with home-made weapons to protect their towns from security forces – which have killed at least 790 civilians according to a local monitoring group.

In the western state of Chin, the town of Mindat has emerged as a hotspot for unrest, where some residents have formed the Chinland Defence Force (CDF).

“We have at least five members killed and over 10 were wounded” this week, said a CDF spokesman, adding that five Mindat residents were also arrested by the military.