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At least 7 Myanmar policemen cross into India seeking refuge

Police officers aim their guns toward people in nearby apartments as they stand off with anti-coup protesters in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 4, 2021. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Police in India's northeastern Mizoram state have detained at least seven Myanmar policemen who entered India seeking refuge a month after the country's powerful military ousted the elected government in a coup, officials said Thursday.

    Magistrate Maria Zuali said four policemen arrived in the state's Champai area on Feb. 28, and local villagers handed them over to state authorities on March 1.

    Police officer Lalnunzira, who uses one name, said three other policemen crossed into Indian territory near Lungkawlh village on Wednesday afternoon. The village is 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the border with Myanmar.

    "The three policemen said they ran from the country because the Myanmar army was on their trail after they refused to obey some orders," the police officer said.

    He did not explain what orders the three policemen had refused to obey. He said they were wearing civilian clothes and were not carrying any weapons when they were found inside Indian territory.

    Unconfirmed media reports said more Myanmar policemen have crossed into the state.

    India shares a 1,643-kilometer (1,020-mile) -long border with Myanmar, where more than 50 people, mostly peaceful protesters, have been killed since the Feb. 1 military coup.

    India is home to thousands of refugees from Myanmar who are scattered across different states.

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