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An intense firefight broke out between Burmese government forces and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Kyaukme, northern Shan State, on Sunday. Farmland in the surrounding villages was damaged but no casualties were reported.
Tar Aik Bone, the general-secretary of the TNLA, said the Burmese army’s 17th Light Infantry Battalion launched a heavy artillery attack against the TNLA 717th Battalion camped in the Pankwe village on Sunday afternoon, prompting the ethnic armed group to return fire and engage in a clash that lasted for about 15 minutes.
He said several farms in the village were damaged by the artillery shelling but no individual was reported hurt.
Based around Lashio in northern Shan state, the TNLA has an estimated fighting strength of 800 Ta’ang men, also known as Palaung. It has not signed a ceasefire with the Burmese government.
In August, the TNLA announced it would not continue with peace talks with the Burmese government because of continued military assaults.
Meanwhile, state-run media said that a clash occurred in central Shan state’s Mongkaung township on 22 December as a team of government officials and police, accompanied by a Burmese army column, were working on destroying poppy fields in the area. They apparently came under fire by an unknown militia of about 50 fighters, according to Myanmar Ahlin daily newspaper on Tuesday.