Myanmar's government and ethnic Kachin rebels are due to start talks in China tomorrow to halt an upsurge in violence in the country's north.
The meeting comes after the military seized several strategic rebel-held hilltops this month around guerilla HQ Laiza.
There has been speculation that the government launched the assault to strengthen its hand at the negotiating table.
The area has been quiet since the army captured Hka Ya Bhum hill on January 26.
The Kachin are the only major ethnic rebel group to have not reached a deal with President Thein Sein as they push for greater autonomy.
Since the conflict resumed in June 2011 after a 17-year ceasefire, the two sides have held at least 10 rounds of talks to try to end it.
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