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Blackout in Myanmar Blamed on Kachin Rebels



Street vendors work by candlelight. (PHOTO: Reuters)


CHIANGRAI TIMES – On Sunday, Burma’s State media blamed national power shortages on attacks by ethnic Kachin Rebels on four towers that form part of the national power grid in northern Burma’s Shan state.

Bomb blasts by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had destroyed the four towers, the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said, amid fighting that has intensified since a 17-year peace agreement was shattered in June.

The bombing occurred just before a government delegation met with Kachin leaders on Monday in Thailand’s Chiang Rai for unofficial talks aimed at forging a ceasefire agreement.

“It was just a preliminary discussion in order to make future meetings possible,” Gen. Gwan Maw, the KIA’s deputy commander-in-chief, said of the meeting.

Neither side has commented on the details of the discussion, which is believed to be their fourth unofficial meeting.

At least 60,000 have been forced to flee their homes amid the fighting, with some living in internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Burma and others across the border in China.


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