Myanmar’s military rulers have branded a rival national unity government a terrorist group and blamed it for the bombings, arson and killings, state-controlled media said on Saturday.
Myanmar’s military has struggled to enforce order since taking power on February 1 and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Bombings are reported daily and local militias have formed to confront the army, while anti-junta protests have not stopped across the Southeast Asian country and strikes by opponents of the army. coup d’état crippled the economy.
The Government of National Unity (NUG), which operates under cover and itself describes the military as a terrorist force, announced this week that it will set up a People’s Defense Force.
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“Their actions have caused so much terrorism in so many places,” state television MRTV said, announcing that the NUG, a committee of ousted lawmakers known as the CRPH and the new force would now all be covered by the law. anti-terrorism.
“There have been bombs, fires, murders and threats to destroy the administrative machinery of the government,” the announcement said.
The anti-terrorism law prohibits not only membership in groups, but also all contact with them. The junta had previously accused its opponents of treason.
Protesters marched against the junta in dozens of places on Saturday. At least 774 civilians have been killed by security forces and 3,778 are being held, according to the activist group of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.
The junta disputes these figures and claims that at least two dozen members of the security forces were killed during protests.
Fighting has also erupted on the outskirts of Myanmar with ethnic armies fighting for decades, some of which have joined the protesters. State television said the military advanced against the Kachin Independence Army in northern Myanmar, but there was no independent confirmation.
In western Myanmar, the new Chinland Defense Force said it had invaded a military camp. The military did not comment on the report.
Myanmar’s military seized power alleging fraud in November elections which were swept aside by Suu Kyi’s party, which fought for democracy for decades before interim reforms began ten years ago. years. The electoral commission dismissed the army’s complaints.