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UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres said Thursday he “strongly condemns” recent attacks by Myanmar’s military that reportedly killed scores of civilians in western Rakhine state and northern Sagain region in recent days.

“The Secretary-General… strongly condemns the recent attacks by the Myanmar military that have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including in Rakhine State,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Clashes have rocked Rakhine since the Arakan Army (AA) attacked forces of the ruling junta in November, ending a ceasefire that had largely held since a military coup in 2021.

The AA says it is fighting for more autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine population in the state, which is also home to around 600,000 members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

ASEAN ‘deeply concerned’ by escalating Myanmar violence

This week it said junta troops had killed more than 70 Rakhine civilians in a raid on Byain Phyu village, north of the state capital Sittwe. The junta said the claim was “propaganda”.

Phone and internet services have been all but cut off across swathes of Rakhine state, making communication difficult.

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