Myanmar minority group urges international help

One of Myanmar's ethnic minority dissident groups has called for international support for people fleeing from military airstrikes.

The Karen National Union issued a statement on Tuesday, calling on the international community, Thailand in particular, to provide humanitarian aid for the residents. The group said Myanmar's military ground troops are advancing into its territories.

The appeal comes as Myanmar's military continues to crack down on anti-coup protesters. A local human rights organization says security forces opened fire in the southern Tanintharyi region and elsewhere, and eight people died on Tuesday.

The military has also carried out airstrikes against ethnic armed groups in the southeastern state of Karen, which side with the protesters. Many people have crossed the border into Thailand to escape.

Meanwhile, state-run television reported that Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the military leader, says his troops must fight back against an attack on a military outpost by ethnic minority militants.

Amid growing tensions, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai says the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will hold a summit as early as April to discuss the situation in Myanmar.

Attention is focused on whether they can find a way to create a breakthrough.