Myanmar's military regime said it will extend a state of emergency for another six months, state media reported Wednesday, the day before the three-year anniversary of the coup that ousted the country's democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The junta has repeatedly extended the state of emergency since the Feb. 1, 2021, coup due to a prolonged conflict between the military and opposition forces including pro-democracy citizens who have taken up arms and ethnic minority militia.

People walk through a market in Yangon, Myanmar, on Jan. 31, 2024. (Kyodo)

With the fifth extension, the deadline for holding a general election to restore civilian rule will be pushed back to Feb. 1 next year.

The junta's announcement was aired by MRTV broadcast following a meeting of the National Defense and Security Council, the country's supreme decision-making body.

During the meeting, junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said the country still needs to be under the state of emergency so the military can deal with attacks by ethnic armed groups, according to the TV report.

The decision comes as the junta faces its biggest challenge since the coup amid a coordinated offensive launched in October last year by three ethnic minority rebel groups in the country's northern region.

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