Myanmar lifts martial law in key rebel area


Fighting has stopped in a zone of north-eastern Myanmar where clashes broke out in February, sparking a surge in violence with ethnic rebels across that part of the country.

The government said Wednesday it was lifting martial law in the Kokang self-administered zone of Shan State as law and order have been restored.

The Kokang rebels attacked the army in February, with the clash and reprisals drawing in militias associated with several ethnic groups across the country.

The attack may have followed the return of one of the Kokang leaders from exile across the Chinese border, or the rejection of a ceasefire proposal by the government, different reports said.

More than 200 people, mostly soldiers and rebels, died in the fighting, which also killed several people on the Chinese side of the border.

The situation in Kokang had returned to normal, the military-backed government said, just over a week after it was trounced in national elections by the opposition National League for Democracy.

Hostilities in other parts of Shan State were ongoing, as the army clashed with two ethnic rebel groups Tuesday, Radio Free Asia reported.