Sunday, August 30, 2009

China seals Myanmar border

One person on Chinese territory has been killed by a bomb flung across the border

LINCANG (Yunnan) ST- FRESH fighting in north-east Myanmar erupted yesterday morning after days of clashes that killed at least one person on Chinese territory and sent dozens of wounded to hospitals along the Chinese border.

Tens of thousands of people have fled to the border town of Nansan in China's Yunnan province this month after clashes in Kokang in Myanmar's Shan state, following the deployment of Myanmar government troops in the area.

'Our information is that as many as 30,000 people may have taken shelter in Nansan since Aug 8, saying they were fleeing fighting between Myanmar government troops and ethnic minority groups,' said spokesman Andrej Mahecic for the UN refugee agency.

Chinese soldiers are guarding the border area, which has been sealed off, said a staff member at the Zhenkang County Public Security Bureau, who gave only his surname, Hui.

One person was killed and several people were injured by a bomb thrown across the Chinese border on Friday, Mr He Yongchun, deputy president of Yunnan branch of the Chinese Red Cross, told the China Daily.

'We have received at least 22 injured people sent from Nansan. Most of them are from Myanmar,' a woman working at the surgical department of Zhenkang People's Hospital told Reuters by phone.

Nansan is a town in Zhenkang county.

China has called on Myanmar to maintain stability in the border region and sought more measures to protect the security and legal rights of Chinese citizens there.

Beijing is one of Myanmar's few diplomatic backers, often coming to the rescue when it is subjected to pressure by Western governments over issues such as the imprisonment of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The leader of the Kokang Group which is fighting Myanmar's army said his forces had captured at least 50 soldiers as well as killed more than 30 troops on Thursday and Friday, the Chinese-language Global Times newspaper reported on its website. -- REUTERS, AP

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Rebel leader says more than 30 junta soldiers killed in Burma

(ABC Radio) -In Burma, the leader of rebel ethnic forces claims they have killed more than 30 government soldiers.

Chinese state media says fresh fighting broke out on Saturday in the country's remote northeast between the military and rebel ethnic forces.

The United Nations says clashes in Burma's remote northeast have also driven up to 30-thousand refugees across the border into Nansan in China's Yunnan province.

It says this has led to China issuing a rare warning to its neighbour and ally to resolve the conflict.

Battles that erupted this week in Kokang, a mainly ethnic Chinese region of Burma's Shan state, have violated a 20 year ceasefire.

There are fears the fighting could escalate into full-scale civil war.

READ MORE---> Rebel leader says more than 30 junta soldiers killed in Burma...

Aussie ship held for gun running

The Sunday Telegraph

AN AUSTRALIAN-owned cargo ship has been caught shipping a cache of banned arms from North Korea to Iran.

The Financial Times reported yesterday the ANL Australia was seized in the United Arab Emirates under new UN Security Council sanctions meant to derail North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Chris Schultz, general manager of business development at ANL Australia, said he was unaware an ANL vessel was involved in any seizure.

"This is the first I have heard of it," Mr Schultz said.

He admitted the ship was the property of ANL but refused any further comment.

ANL is the Australian-based subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, the third largest container shipping line in the world. Built in 1991, it was previously named Australian Endeavour and is owned and operated by ANL.

The UAE, a hub for Iranian goods, reportedly seized the ship several weeks ago. Diplomats claimed the ship was carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons disguised as machine parts.

A spokesperson from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was unaware of the incident.

The ship's seizure and reported violation of the arms embargo was reported by the UAE in a confidential letter two weeks ago to the council's sanctions committee for North Korea that is comprised of diplomats from all 15 nations on the Security Council.

Turkey's deputy UN ambassador, Fazli Corman, who chairs the sanctions panel, confirmed the incident and said council members are examining the seriousness of it.

"The committee received information from UAE authorities and the committee is processing the information," he said.

The Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on June 12, strengthening an arms embargo and authorising ship searches on the high seas to try to rein in its nuclear program after Pyongyang's second nuclear test on May 25, violating a council resolution adopted after its first nuclear blast in 2006.

The council also has ordered an asset freeze and travel ban on companies and individuals involved in the country's nuclear and weapons programs and put five North Korean officials, four companies and a state agency on the sanctions list. Three other companies were put on the list after Pyongyang launched a rocket on April 5, a move seen as cover for testing long-range missiles.

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