Civilians prepare to battle Myanmar's military rulers

Gunshots ring out at this makeshift shooting range deep in the forests of eastern Myanmar near the Thai border.

These civilians are learning how to fire live weapons as they prepare to battle a sizeable, trained fighting force: Myanmar’s own military.

The junta staged a coup in February this year, ousting the civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power.

Hundreds of resistance groups have since popped up across the country.

Reuters managed to get rare footage of these young men and women some former protesters, who traded in their urban attire for jungle camouflage.

And their numbers look to be growing according to one former student activist-turned fighter.

“There are over 100 youths here. More people are coming to us. In the village near our camp, there are also many youths staying there. Because they are insecure about living in urban areas or they want to join the army training camp or for any other reason, they fled to the jungle and shelter in nearby villages."

Seclusion, however, has come with its challenges.

Mud paths, waterways and days of trekking have made access to food a challenge.

But the rebels still persist.

"Everyone came here with their resentment and revolutionary spirit. So that is why they can only focus on fighting for revolution."

That fight may continue to weigh heavily on the resistance as close to 1,300 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested since the coup.

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