An ethnic Wa woman carries a baby during a religious ceremony. Photo: AFP

Myanmar's powerful Wa rebels seek their own state

Myanmar's most heavily armed and powerful rebel group said it wants to carve out a legitimate state. Experts say it is flexing its muscles amid tense relations with the government. The United Wa State Army, which commands an estimated 30,000 troops, holds sway over a remote mountainous area on the country's northeastern border with China that is believed to be awash with drugs and has long been aloof from central control.

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