Myanmar military calls for monthlong ceasefire

Myanmar's military has called for a one-month ceasefire in the fight against ethnic minority armed forces supporting anti-coup protesters. But it has not indicated any intention to stop its crackdown on the protesters.

More than 500 people have been killed in the military's violent repression of demonstrations. But protests continue across the country. In the largest city of Yangon and elsewhere on Wednesday, demonstrators who split into small groups voiced their defiance of the military.

The military has carried out airstrikes against armed ethnic minority groups that attacked military positions in support of the protesters. The military has also sent ground troops to step up its offensive.

On Wednesday night, the military announced that it will suspend operations for one month from Thursday if there is no new attack from the militants. It called on the militants to agree to talks for a ceasefire.

But the statement does not mention ending the violence against protesters.

There are about 20 ethnic minority militias in Myanmar. At least five of them have attacked military positions or expressed their intention to attack them, saying they aim to protect civilians.

If the military continues its attacks on civilians, the militants are expected to continue attacking the military. It looks uncertain whether a ceasefire can be achieved.