Yangon - At least four people have been killed in a week of fighting between government troops and an ethnic rebel group in Myanmar's Rakhine state, state media reports said Friday.
Government troops clashed with members of the Arakan Army 15 times from December 28 to January 4 in the western state, the army-run Myawaddy newspaper reported.
The death toll of at least four comprised one army officer and three rebels. Hundreds of villagers fled to escape the fighting, local media reports said. The military has announced that it will continue to launch attacks against Arakan Army forces until the area is cleared of all insurgents.
The Arakan Army says it is fighting for the self-determination of the Arakan people. The Arakan Army is among three rebel groups that the government blocked from signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement for fighting alongside groups it considers terrorists.
Myanmar's government signed the historic peace agreement with eight out of 15 invited rebel groups in October.
The government has invited the non-signatories to a peace conference scheduled to take place from January 12-16 in Nay Pyi Taw.