Burmese government forces have shelled the Wanhai headquarters of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N).
SSA-N spokesperson Lt-Col Sai La told DVB on Thursday that the Burmese army’s 575th Light Infantry Battalion, positioned about four miles from Wanhai, began launching a barrage of artillery shells just after midnight.
“Government forces fired 120mm artillery shells at our positions between midnight and 1am Thursday. Eight of those shells landed in the village of Wanhai, one in a local school. We regard this as a direct assault on our headquarters,” he said.
No casualties were reported, though several homes and a car were damaged.
“On 27 October, we recaptured a base that the Tatmadaw [Burmese army] seized from us two weeks earlier. We assume this action provoked their rage, and hence the shelling.
“We are prepared to defend ourselves to the best of our ability,” he said, adding that some 600 Burmese soldiers have been deployed into surrounding Wanhai.
Sai La said some 200 villagers were celebrating the Thadingyut Full Moon festival by lighting candles at the school when the shell landed, sending everyone fleeing.
On Wednesday morning, SSA-N and government troops also clashed in an area south of Mongak village in Monghsu Township.
The SSA-N’s political wing, the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), said the government forces began attacking the Shan militia on 6 October, soon after it had announced its decision to reject the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
More than 3,000 local villagers have been forced to flee their homes due to fighting that has intensified since the NCA signing ceremony in Naypyidaw on 15 October.
The SSPP originally signed a bilateral ceasefire with Naypyidaw in January 2012.
Read more about the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement