A bomb blast and shootings at Muse, Myanmar’s main gateway to China, have claimed two lives. The area is known as home to several militia groups who are said to be ‘jockeying for control over lucrative casinos and the drug trade’.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack
One woman died and five people were wounded in a bomb attack on a police traffic post while a later attack killed another person and wounded four more, says a report in South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Muse based militia groups are reportedly controlled by Myanmar’s army. Under an agreement with China, Myanmar has not stationed troops along the border but used the militias as proxies in a long-running conflict with ethnic rebel groups like the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), which operate in the area, the report said.
The town lies on the path of a proposed US$8.9 billion high-speed rail link from China’s landlocked Yunnan province to Myanmar’s west coast. The rail line is part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
But the region is awash with weapons and a centre for meth production as armed rebels and militias jostle for a share of any potential windfall.
In 2018, two Chinese nationals were among 19 people killed when ethnic rebels attacked security force posts and a casino near Muse.###