Fighting erupted in eastern Myanmar near the Thai border early on Tuesday as ethnic minority Karen insurgents attacked an army outpost in some of the most intense clashes since a Feb. 1 coup plunged Myanmar into crisis.
The clash came as the junta said it would “positively” consider suggestions from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on ways to end Myanmar’s turmoil, that came out of a weekend meeting in Indonesia.
Southeast Asian leaders said earlier they had reached a consensus with the junta on steps to end violence and promote dialogue between the rival Myanmar sides.
The Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar’s oldest rebel force, said it had captured the army camp on the west bank of the Salween river, which forms the border with Thailand in the area.
Villagers on the Thai side of the river said heavy gunfire started before sunrise. Video posted on social media showed flames and smoke on the forested hillside.
KNU forces had taken the outpost at around 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. (2230 to 2330 GMT), the group’s head of foreign affairs, Saw Taw Nee, told Reuters.