Myanmar military calls for ethnic rebels to join peace talks

Myanmar's government is urging ethnic rebel groups to join talks to achieve a nationwide peace agreement even after one of the groups raided a government-controlled town Monday in an attack that killed five policemen and five civilians.

The office of military Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing charged that the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army — which represents the ethnic Chinese Kokang minority — had attacked Laukkai in northern Shan state to try to create a liberated zone under rebel control.

The statement the commander's office issued Tuesday said the Kokang and other ethnic rebel groups that have not yet signed cease-fire pacts were still welcome to take part in a peace conference later this month if they abandon armed struggle.