World

Myanmar refugees flee to China to escape fighting between militants and government troops

Tens of thousands of refugees from Myanmar's ethnic region of Kokang have fled into the neighboring Chinese province of Yunnan over the past week amid fighting between militants and government troops.

Citing government officials, the state-owned news site Yunnan.cn reported Monday that there have been 30,000 border crossings by Myanmar nationals, and that Chinese authorities have offered them food and medical care.

Lin Sen, a volunteer helping refugees in Yunnan, said by phone Tuesday that he estimates 30,000 to 50,000 refugees had escaped the conflict region of Kokang over the past week. Kokang is home to many ethnic Han Chinese.

Myanmar officials have blamed the fighting on a faction of militants led by Phone Kya Shin.