Burmese government forces engaged in armed clashes this week with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in southern Kachin State, while hostilities are also ongoing against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in neighbouring Shan State, as well as between the TNLA and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS).
“The Tatmadaw [Burmese army] infantry battalion 251 clashed on 5 July with KIA’s Brigade 2, Regiment 6, in A Lel Tu village in Kamine sub-township, Mohnyin District,” Col. Tan Saing of KIA Regiment 6 told DVB.
The Kachin rebel commander said that around 40 to 50 troops from both sides exchanged gunfire and artillery shelling for about an hour.
“Clashes broke out two days earlier when the Tatmadaw forces came in to conduct clearance operations in the area where we were stationed. We have no details yet on casualties. Both sides deployed artillery, so it was dangerous for any villagers nearby. This is monsoon season, when the farmers grow their crops. They have to tend their farms but have no choice but to flee if hostilities break out,” he said.
Meanwhile, TNLA information office Mong Aik Kyaw told DVB that his group had clashed with the Burmese army on 4-5 July in Namtu, Kyaukme district, in northern Shan State.
“The Tatmadaw unit trespassed on our territory and confronted our forces,” he said. “Several soldiers on both sides were hit, but I do not have the exact details.”
He added: “We also exchanged gunfire with the RCSS in Namtu. Before long, some 250 locals had abandoned their villages and took refuge at a monastery in Namtu town.”
Skirmishes were also reported between TNLA and government forces on 27 June in Namhsan and Namkham townships.