China has put its army on high alert and cautioned its citizens in Myanmar to stay safe after fierce clashes broke out between three ethnic groups in Myanmar and the military (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – Armed clashes between government forces and an alliance of three ethnic armed groups continued in Muse town, Myanmar’s northern Shan state, which borders China, according to a press release from the Information Committee of the State Counselor’s Office on November 21.

The three groups are the Kachin Independence Army, Ta'ang National Liberation Army and Kokang's Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.

The alliance, numbering more than 100 gunmen, attacked Phangsai police station from the hill and damaged a bridge on Namtu-Baw Thwin route, halting traffic on November 21 morning.

The Lashio-Muse road was blocked, raising public fear that goods, including fruits exported to China, would rot.

The government claimed that seven people, including civilians, lost their lives and 29 were injured in the clashes. One militant was killed by police.

The same day, China lodged representations to Myanmar following a Chinese citizen being hit by a stray bullet in clashes between Myanmar governmental forces and the armed groups, according to Geng Shuang, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affair.

He added that China would continue to follow the situation and stay in touch with Myanmar.

He also called on the parties in the conflict to exercise restraint and immediately halt military operations.

Earlier, in early morning on November 20, about 800 gunmen of the three ethnic groups attacked government military outposts, police offices and shopping centres in Muse and Kutkai and other neighbouring townships.-VNA