Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting between Myanmar’s army and ethnic insurgents in the country’s remote north, a United Nations official said, as a long-simmering conflict intensifies.

More than 4,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar’s northernmost state of Kachin near the border with China in the last three weeks, Mark Cutts, the head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told AFP late Friday.

The numbers do not include some 15,000 people who have fled since the beginning of the year and upwards of 90,000 residing in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in both Kachin and Shan states since a ceasefire between the government and the powerful Kachin Independence Army broke down in 2011.

“We have received reports from local organisations saying that there are still many civilians who remain trapped in conflict-affected areas,” Cutts said of the recent clashes.

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