Government forces killed at least 76 more people in suppressing unrest this week and Friday recaptured Chinese border outposts overrun by communist rebels who back the protests, a government spokesman said.
Also Friday, a representative of rebels of the Karen ethnic minority said nearly 2,000 students and others have fled to areas under their control along the Thai-Burmese border. The anti-government refugees hope to receive military training at Karen bases.Kyaw Sann, a spokesman for the military government, said that between Tuesday and Thursday, 76 people were killed as the government put down unrest. He said 24 others were wounded and 269 were arrested.
By official count, about 425 people have been killed since hardline Gen. Saw Maung seized power Sept. 18 and ordered troops to quell pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the country. The government says some of those killed were looters.
The new government has promised multiparty general elections. But opposition leaders have urged people to continue a general strike begun Aug. 8 and fight the government through other peaceful means.
Anti-government unrest has swelled this year against military-backed one-party rule. The latest wave began in July when it forced Ne Win from power after 26 years.
Kyaw Sann also told a news conference that three army outposts that fell to rebels of the outlawed Burma Communist Party were recaptured Friday with support from air strikes.
One week ago, more than 1,500 insurgents attacked and occupied positions at Lamingone, Yanshingone and Payagone near the Chinese border about 340 miles northeast of Rangoon. Clashes in the area killed at least 131 rebels with 48 government troops dead and another 104 wounded, the government spokesman said.
Kyaw Sann said government troops were still carrying out mopping-up operations against the rebels, who have an estimated total of 20,000 fighters.
The Burma Communist Party earlier issued a statement supporting the popular pro-democracy uprising.