Fighting in Myanmar’s northwest has displaced tens of thousands of civilians (AFP Photo/Richard SARGENT)More

Yangon (AFP) – The United Nations called for “urgent measures to spare civilians” in Myanmar’s conflict-wracked northwest on Sunday, saying fighting has intensified between the army and insurgents.

The military has been battling the Arakan Army (AA) — a rebel group seeking more autonomy for ethnic Rakhine Buddhists — in Myanmar’s Rakhine and Chin states since January last year.

Scores of civilians have been killed in the area and tens of thousands displaced. The two sides have traded allegations of abuse.

Under lockdown and with an internet blackout across much of the conflict zone, reporting from the area is difficult to verify.

The UN expressed concern Sunday over “reports of intensified fighting” in northwest

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