At least four people have died and eight have been injured when they remained sheltered in a Christian church attacked this morning by the Burmese Army in Kayan state (Myanmar), where the fighting between the military and opponents of the coup d’état has intensified.

An explosive device fired by the Armed Forces hit the roof of the religious compound in the city of Loikaw around 1:00 am this Monday (18:30 GMT on Sunday), reports the Khit Thit Media news portal.

The explosion caused extensive damage to the building, which partially collapsed on several people who had come to take refuge in the Christian church for fear of fighting between the Army against armed civilians supported by a rebel group.

The fatalities are three women and one man, while the injured are being treated in a hospital, said the aforementioned media.

According to the Kantarawaddy Times portal, some 40 soldiers died on Sunday during the fighting against the Civil Defense Force, the armed resistance created by the political opposition, which had the support of the rebel Karenni Army.

In the town of Moe Bye, near the Shan state border, the militia seized a police station and killed at least 15 soldiers while launching an attack on security forces who were firing heavy artillery at some houses.

About 20 kilometers to the south, near the city of Demoso, at least 24 other soldiers lost their lives when they were caught during an ambush by rebels on a highway linking the region.

The protests against the military junta continue today to express popular rejection of the military command and demand the release of all those detained, including the ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the restoration of democracy.

Some of the protesters have decided to take up arms against the Army, tired of the little progress made by the peaceful demonstrations.

At least 818 people have lost their lives since the riot as a result of the brutal repression exercised by the security forces against the demonstrations, according to figures from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, which counts almost 5,400 detainees since the coup de Condition.

The Army justifies the coup due to an alleged electoral fraud in the November elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party was destroyed, as it did in 2015, and which have the backing of international observers.

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