FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
The Brotherhood Alliance announced on Oct. 31 that it had seized over 70 Burma Army outposts across northern Shan State since it launched a military offensive on Oct. 27. It claimed to have confiscated Burma Army weapons and ammunition, including two tanks manufactured in Ukraine. The Brotherhood Alliance consists of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Arakan Army (AA).
It captured the town of Hsenwi on Oct. 29, according to sources inside the town. Some townships in northern Shan State are now under Brotherhood Alliance control, the TNLA claimed. Fighting has continued in Kunlong, Namkham, Nawnghkio, Mogok and Lashio townships, where TNLA Brigades 1, 2, 4 and 6 operate. An unknown number of Burma Army troops were reportedly killed.
“They are shelling and staging airstrikes to regain their military outposts, but we will continue our fight to protect peoples’ lives and properties as well as to control more territory. We are working to demolish the dictatorship,” said Tar Aik Kyaw, the TNLA spokesperson.
Three civilians were killed by artillery in Nam Hpat Kar village, which is located next to the Lashio-Muse highway, in Kutkai Township on Oct. 30. “We could not go and help right away as a war is occurring. One was killed instantly, and two others died at the hospital. All are young and middle aged,” said an unnamed local rescue team member.
Nam Hpat Kar village is 45 kilometers from Kutkai where the Brotherhood Alliance imposed martial law on Oct. 29 due to the continued fighting against the Burma Army. Two civilians were killed and five others injured on Oct. 27. The TNLA denied reports that Beijing gave clearance for the operation.
More than 6,200 people in northern Shan State have been displaced from their homes and have sought refuge in nearby forests and temples, states the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
China’s Foreign Ministry called for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in northern Shan State after artillery fired from Muse landed inside China on Oct. 27.
“China called on the relevant parties to resolve differences peacefully through dialogue and consultation, avoid escalation of incidents and take concrete and effective measures to ensure security and stability of the China-Myanmar border,” said Mao Ning, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
Muse, Pangsang and Monekoe residents claimed that the MNDAA negotiated with Chinese authorities to allow safe passage and shelter to refugees in Manghai, China on Oct. 29. Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun confirmed to BBC Burmese that the military has taken heavy losses in northern Shan State.
But Zaw Min Tun dismissed MNDAA claims that the military is involved in cyber scam operations along the China-Burma border. He claimed that Naypyidaw is fighting against criminal organizations based along the China and Thailand borders.
The MNDAA issued a warning to the “puppet administration” run by Naypyidaw in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, located in northern Shan State, on Oct. 28. It encouraged Burma Army troops and the Kokang Border Guard Force (BGF) to defect, claiming that the MNDAA would guarantee their safety.
The Brotherhood Alliance offensive has been named “Operation 1027” after the date it was launched. Other anti-coup resistance groups, including the Bamar People’s Liberation Army (BPLA) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF), are participating. The National Unity Government (NUG) declared its “active engagement” in the operation carried out by its allies; the TNLA, the AA, and the MNDAA across northern Shan State.