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Thousands of people fearing an escalation in fighting between ethnic rebels and government troops in Kachin state near the Myanmar-China border have fled their villages, with many seeking shelter in churches and temples.
The fighting, which first broke out between Kachin Independent Army and government forces on June 9, had spread yesterday and today to northern parts of neighboring Shan state, according to the Kachin News Group.
At least 700 refugees have so far sought refuge in churches and at a Buddhist temple in Wai Maw near the Kachin state capital Myitkyina in northern Myanmar.
The majority, however, have gone to Myitkyina or other major towns to stay with relatives or crossed the Chinese border.