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Thousands flee Myanmar's ethnic conflict in Kachin

Stronger military campaign cited as leader Aung San Suu Kyi seeks peace

Students rally in Yangon on May 6, demanding peace in Myanmar's war-torn Kachin State.   © Reuters

YANGON -- The Myanmar military's escalating battle with armed ethnic groups has driven thousands of residents in northern Kachin State from their homes, the United Nations reports, creating new refugees for a country already under criticism for the Rohingya crisis.

"More than 5,000 people are estimated to be newly displaced since April in Kachin State following heavy fighting between the Myanmar Military and Kachin Independence Army," the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report late last month. The agency also noted that some civilians have been unable to leave conflict areas.

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