South China Sea: Myanmar Shows No Mercy bombs Chinese vilage, 4 casualties.

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South China Sea: Myanmar Shows No Mercy bombs Chinese vilage, 4 casualties.

Four farmers in southwest China were killed Friday when one or more bombs released from a warplane from Myanmar struck a sugar cane field, as fighting between Myanmar’s government forces and an ethnic group pressed against the frontier with China.

The deaths, reported by Chinese state-run television, appeared to be the worst instance so far of the recently renewed conflict between Myanmar’s army and armed supporters of the Kokang people, an ethnic Chinese minority, rippling into neighboring Yunnan Province in China. Another nine people were wounded by the bombing, said Xinhua, the main Chinese state news agency.

Late on Friday, a Chinese vice minister for foreign affairs, Liu Zhenmin, summoned Myanmar’s ambassador in Beijing, U Thit Linn Ohn, to denounce the deaths and the intrusion into Chinese territory, Xinhua reported. The reports did not say whether the Chinese government thought the intrusion was deliberate or accidental.

“We urge the Myanmar side to thoroughly investigate this incident and report the findings to the Chinese side, and to sternly punish the perpetrator,” Mr. Liu told the ambassador, according to Xinhua.

“Immediately take effective steps to prevent incidents like this from recurring, and thoroughly safeguard the security and stability of the China-Myanmar border region,” Mr. Liu said.

The Xinhua report in English indicated that Myanmar’s plane dropped one bomb. But the Global Times, a popular Chinese newspaper that has often reported on the conflict, initially said the cane field was struck three times.

The deaths threaten to complicate China’s position in responding to fighting between Myanmar government forces and armed supporters of the Kokang, who call themselves the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. The conflict flared in February, prompting tens of thousands of residents of the region, which is also known as Kokang, to flee into Yunnan.

The Chinese Air Force set up teams of fighter jets a number of times Friday to tail and warn Myanmar military planes and force them out of Chinese airspace, the state-run China News Service quoted an air force spokesman as saying Saturday. The air force will step up operations along the border with Myanmar, said the spokesman, Shen Jinke.

The bomb from Myanmar’s warplane hit the sugar cane field in Gema County on Friday afternoon, China Central Television news said. The Global Times showed pictures on its website, which it said showed the aftermath: distraught villagers standing over covered bodies, and wooden burial coffins readied for the dead.

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