YANGON: Twelve people have died in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in clashes between armed men and troops, state media reported Wednesday, in a sharp escalation of violence in the restive region. Four soldiers and one attacker were killed on Tuesday when hundreds of men wielding pistols and swords assailed troops in Pyaungpit village, in Maungdaw township. Troops also found seven dead along with rudimentary weapons after fighting broke out in the nearby village of Taung Paing Nyar. “Swords and sticks were found with the bodies,” the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported. The military have been scouring the region, not far from the border with Bangladesh, after nine police officers were killed on Sunday in coordinated attacks on three border posts.