Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Shan and Burmese Army units clash in state’s north

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An armed clash took place between an ethnic ceasefire group that had rejected the junta’s Border Guard Force proposal and the Burmese Army late on Tuesday, military observers said, without being able to provide casualty figures.

The skirmish between the Shan State Army (North) (SSA-N) First Brigade led by General Panpha and Infantry Battallion 147 under the Burmese Army’s Northeastern Command occurred at Namgmakyang in Hsipaw Township in the north of the state, a major from the Shan State Army (South) (SSA-S) told Mizzima.

“Yes, the armed clash took place. But, we still don’t have detailed information. We don’t know the numbers of killed and injured in the armed clash. We are trying to contact with SSA-N to get information,” the major said.

According to local sources, people fled areas affected by the clash.

“Since the junta pressured the SSA-N to transform into its Border Guard Force, tension has increased in the area, so some people felt fearful and moved to other places. Some families from the Burma Army’s soldiers also moved to safer places”, the major said.

Confirming the skirmish, the Shan Herald Agency for News reported that the armed clash had taken place between of the SSA-N 1st Brigade and a unit of the junta’s 55th Light Infantry Division in Hsipaw Township. It said one SSA-N soldier was injured.

An officer from the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) also said that although there had been no fighting between his group and the junta’s army, the junta had imposed restrictions on KIO officers’ travel. He added that junta fighter aircraft had on September 11 flown over areas controlled by the KIO, which are near the Sino-Burmese border.

Aung Kyaw Zaw, a military analyst based on the Sino-Burmese border, said, “I don’t know the exact area where the armed clash took place but I think some soldiers from both sides might’ve died in the fighting. I don’t know which side had trespassed [on the other’s territory].”

Meanwhile, the junta had increased its troop numbers near the headquarters of the United Wa State Army (UWSA).


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