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Two local Palaung villagers were killed and hundreds have fled their homes in recent days as shells rained down during an assault by Burmese government forces on a nearby base belonging to the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
The villagers, residents of Man Lan (pop. 900) in Namhsan Township, within the Palaung Self-Administered Zone of northeastern Shan State, evacuated their homes between 22-27 June. Some 200 have taken refuge in Buddhist monasteries in the towns of Lashio and Namhsan; others are said to have fled to the homes of friends or relatives in nearby towns. Many elderly folks, however, have remained behind.
Several fatalities have been reported from the front line near Man Lan, where Burmese troops overran a Ta’ang [Palaung] rebel base.
According to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, “some officers and privates” were killed in action when the unit captured the TNLA base.
The Office reported that a Burmese military convoy had uncovered a hidden camp belonging to TNLA rebels while conducting clearance operations near Man Lan. It said the base contained a training camp, kitchen and dining room, and that Burmese soldiers discovered TNLA uniforms, weapons, ammunition and hand-made explosives at the site.
The statement also said that four TNLA soldiers’ bodies were recovered, alongside a number of light machine guns, pistols, grenades and bullets.
At least two civilians were reportedly killed in the crossfire when the two sides clashed. Hostilities are reported to be ongoing in areas of Kutkai and Namhsan townships.
“On Monday, artillery shells fell on Pain Hwal village near Kutkai, killing two local residents and injuring one other,” said Kham Nyunt, the chairman of the Ta’ang Literature and Culture Association, speaking to DVB yesterday.
“Mr Eite Dae died on the spot. His wife, Aye Am, died later in the hospital. His father was also injured. About two or three shells landed in the village, and some houses suffered damage too,” he added.
Shells also landed in the nearby villages of Namkhon and Pan Say, killing a small number of cows and buffaloes, he said.