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Two air bases in Myanmar attacked, reports say

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This handout, from Kawthoolei Today, taken and released on April 27, 2021, shows fires burning at a Myanmar military base along the bank of Salween River, as seen from Mae Sam Laep town in Thailand's Mae Hong Son province, after the base was attacked and captured by the Karen National Union (KNU). (Via AFP)

Unidentified individuals have attacked two airbases in Myanmar, with explosions reported at one base and rocket raids witnessed at another, reports say.

In the early hours of Thursday, three explosions took place at an airbase in the vicinity of the central town of Magway, reported the local media outlet Delta News Agency in a post on Facebook.

Security checks were increased on roads outside the base in the wake of the blasts, the news portal added.

Later in the day, at least five rockets were fired at one of Myanmar’s main air bases, at Meiktila, to the northeast of Magway, said reporter Than Win Hlaing, who was near the base at the time.

He also posted footage that included the sound of what seemed to be a rocket dashing overhead followed by an explosion.

There was no claim of responsibility or any confirmation of casualties in the attacks.

Another base was recently attacked near the border with Taiwan.

Myanmar is gripped by turmoil triggered by a military coup on February 1.

The junta has since been engaged in a brutal crackdown on anti-coup protesters that has led to the killing of 756 people, according to a local monitoring group.

The military government has so far detained more than 3,300 people in connection with protests against the coup, according to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Fighting has also escalated between ethnic minority insurgents and regime forces in border areas, particularly in the east near Thailand. Forces of the Karen National Union (KNU) — one of the largest armed groups in Myanmar — reportedly seized an army base in Karen State near the Salween River early on Tuesday morning.

Armed groups have pledged to fight in support of the protesters.

Back on Saturday, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held a meeting in the Indonesian capital with the junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing. It later announced that the state members had agreed on a “five-point consensus” on steps to put an end to violence and promote dialog between the coup leaders and their civilian rivals.

However, the coup leaders refused to accept the proposals, saying that they would consider them “when the situation returns to stability” and provided the recommendations facilitated the military’s own roadmap.

Meanwhile, a shadow government formed by opponents to the junta has rejected talks on the crisis until all political prisoners are released.

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