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Myanmar rebels say army artillery strike kills 3

YANGON, Myanmar – Ethnic Kachin rebels in Myanmar say government forces fired artillery that killed three civilians and wounded four more in the town the rebels use as their headquarters.

The casualties were the first reported in Laiza since rebels and the army resumed fighting in mid-2011 after nearly two decades of peace in the northern region.

A member of the rebel Kachin Independence Army says the strike took place early Monday and a 15-year-old boy was among the dead.

The rebel official declined to be identified because he is not the group’s official spokesman.

Laiza is located on Myanmar’s northeast border with China. It has been hit several times by artillery since fighting between the two sides escalated with government helicopter and jet fighter attacks last month.