China says 20,000 Myanmar refugees have fled across border

China says more than 20,000 people from neighboring Myanmar have fled across the border into China after months of violence between ethnic rebel groups and government forces, including fighting this week that killed at least 30 people.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Thursday that China condemns the fighting in northern Myanmar and calls for an immediate cease-fire.

Geng said Chinese authorities in the border area have offered shelter and assistance to the refugees from Myanmar.

This week, the Myanmar government said at least 30 people were killed in fighting triggered by a pre-dawn attack by an ethnic rebel group. It said the attack on the government-controlled town of Laukkai killed five policemen and five civilians.