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19 Killed in Myanmar Fighting


FILE - A TNLA (Ta'ang National Liberation Army) soldier looks on during the 51st anniversary of the Ta'ang National Resistance Day at Homain, Nansan township in the northern Shan state, Jan. 12, 2014.

An ethnic rebel group in northern Myanmar has attacked security forces at a casino in an area near China's border, killing 19 people, including 15 civilians and four security forces. Twenty people were wounded.

Government spokesman Zaw Htay said the rebel operation was "...a destructive terrorist attack."

The rebel group Ta'ang National Liberation Army, or TNLA, has claimed responsibility for the attack Saturday in the town of Muse in Shan state.

TNLA spokesman Colonel Tar Aik Kyaw said the attack targeted soldiers and the militiamen who run the casino, but conceded that civilians could have been caught in the crossfire.

Shan State is located at a border crossing between Myanmar and China's Yunnan province, a major trading point between the two countries.

The TNLA is one of several groups fighting for more autonomy in northern Myanmar.