Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups have now warned the military they can unite to fight back if the violent crackdown against protesters continue, following the junta’s aerial attacks on ethnic Karen state over the weekend.
The Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army and the Arakan Army said “we will cooperate with the protesters and fight back,” if the killing continues, in a joint statement on Tuesday.
General Yawd Serk of the rebel group Restoration Council of Shan State also said, “If the Ethnic Armed Groups ideology is to protect their own people and the country, they should no longer be able to just stand by and do nothing. We now have one common enemy, we need to join hands and work together,” Reuters reported.
The group Karen National Union said it already sent members to protect demonstrators.
Shootouts have ensued between security forces and rebel groups around the country’s borders as thousands of ethnic minorities flee their homes.
Meanwhile, the death toll of the anti-coup protests has now reached 521 as of Tuesday, local monitoring and rights group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported.
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