Burmese government forces have launched air strikes on the Wanhai headquarters of Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), according to a rebel army spokesperson.
Burma’s state-run TV has confirmed the military action, though it said the assault was launched in retaliation to a Shan artillery offensive.
No casualties have been reported. DVB has been informed that some 2,000 persons have been displaced by the fighting.
Col. Sai La from SSA-N spoke to DVB on Wednesday. “Yesterday morning at around 7am, government troops shot several rounds of heavy weaponry from Kyu Mauk Khao hill,” he said.
“Then, at 10:15, one fighter plane and two helicopters flew over, firing with machine guns and dropping bombs. One monastery was destroyed.”
He said the fighting continued until 2pm at positions near the village of Mong Ut, some six miles from Wanhai.
However, Burma’s military-owned Myawaddy TV announced that between Monday night and Tuesday morning, 120 SSA-N soldiers launched an attack on a Tatmadaw [Burmese army] base in Mongnawng, Loilan District, using artillery, gunfire and grenade launchers.
State news said government forces responded using military helicopters.
Civil society group representative Nang Sai Hein told DVB that some 2,000 persons, who had been sheltering at a refuge in the vicinity, fled to the town of Monghsu on Tuesday.
“The monastery in Monghsu is now full of refugees,” she said. “All the markets and shops in town have been closed since an artillery shell exploded nearby.”
Along with a number of ethnic armed groups, the SSA-N recently refused to sign a government-backed ceasefire accord. Burmese government forces have since stepped up military action in Shan State, and have deployed reinforcements close to positions where non-signatory militias are based.
Read more about Shan State
Read more about Burma’s ceasefire agreement