The Myanmar army in the second largest city, Mandalay clashed with a local militia who oppose February’s military coup.
This is the first time clashes between People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and the army spun in a big city.
Until now, actions by the PDF have been limited to fighting in rural areas or small towns. Tuesday’s clashes brought the violence to a major city, marking a new phase in the fallout from the coup.
According to local reports, troops raided a boarding school being used as a base by the militia, leading to an exchange of gunfire
The junta said four protesters were killed in the raid and eight arrested, and several soldiers injured. The Mandalay PDF confirmed the raid on social media.
The PDF said weapons were seized from inside the building and several members of the group arrested, but did not confirm whether there were any casualties.
The military has previously responded to PDF attacks on soldiers with artillery and air strikes, displacing thousands of people from their homes.
Security forces have killed at least 873 protesters since the February coup, according to activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The United Nations General Assembly on Friday called for a halt in the international flow of arms to Myanmar, and urged the military to respect the results of a November election and release political detainees, including the country’s democratically-elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Myanmar’s foreign ministry rejected the UN statement, saying it was “based on one-sided sweeping allegations and false assumptions”.