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Shan troops raid Pa-O militia bases; weapons, chemicals seized


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) seized arms and drug-making chemicals during a two-day attack on Pa-O militia bases in Mong Sit in Namsang Township in southern Shan State, according to SSA-South sources.

Troops of the Shan State Army-S march in parade in this file photo. Photo : MizzimaThe attacks started on the afternoon of February 28 and lasted about three hours, according to SSA-S sources, and then attacks continued into the next day. In all, four bases were attacked, and troops found chemicals believed to be used n a drug refinery in the area.

Sources said that six Pa-O militiamen were killed during the fighting.

According the SSA-S website (www.taifreedom.com), the two-days of fighting led to the seizure of six automatic rifles, about 600 viss of opium, five gallons of chemicals (believed to be used to produce drugs) and three motorbikes.

The Pa-O militia group is lead by Aung Kham Ti, who is the former chairman of the Pa-O National Organization. The group transformed into a regime militia force in 2009.

Burmese troops from Nam Sang and Mong Pone were reportedly on the way to reinforce the Pa-O militia group, which was still under attack late Wednesday. 

According to a Shan military observer: ‘The armed groups that transformed into militia forces have become the target of the SSA-S. The reason is because the militias will be used by the Burmese regime, and they have to follow the instruction of the regime’.

According to residents in Nam Sang, the Pa-O militia group has been producing drugs for some time with the full knowledge of local Burmese authorities.

Residents say there are several small militia groups in Mong Sit that are involved in the drug business. On several occasions, due to the different interests of the groups, armed clashes have take place.

An observer said, ‘These armed groups are manipulated by the regime, and they are too selfish. They forget their original goals. They are acting like mafia gangs rather than serving and protecting civilians from the harassment of the Burmese troops.’

The SSA-S, led by Lieutenant General Yawd Serk,  is the only Shan armed group that fights against the regime inside Shan State. It has bases along the Shan-Thai border.

In the meantime, three other armed groups, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) occupy areas along the Burma-China border. The groups are under pressure from the regime to transform into the regime’s Border Guard Force under the command of regime officers, which the groups have refused to do.



Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2011 15:27 )  

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