Fighting between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and government troops flared once again over the weekend in Kutkai Township, Shan State, with a shelling from the clashes landing in Maw Saung village and killing one woman, according to a local civil society group.
“Shells fell in Maw Saung village. The villagers informed us that a 38-year-old woman named Yar An Kyin was struck by an artillery shell in her abdomen and died,” said Ta Aung Myat, chair of the Nam Phat Kar Ta’ang Literature and Cultural Association.
The shelling in Maw Saung, part of the Nam Mon village-tract, reportedly occurred on Saturday.
“Local social services associations were informed about the incident and asked for help; they could not go to the area because of the ongoing clashes. The woman died an hour after she was hit by an artillery shell,” Ta Aung Myat said.
Hostilities between the TNLA, which holds territory in parts of northern Shan State, and the Burma Army have been recurrent in recent years. The former has largely been kept out of the country’s formal peace process.
Ta Aung Myat said local villagers informed him that Yar An Kyin had been struck by ordnance.
“Nam Phat Kar social services team members did not dare to go to the area. The woman died before receiving any medical treatment. … She is survived by four children” and her husband, Ta Aung Myat added. “When some villagers from the village heard the sound of gunshots, some fled to Nam Phat Kar [village] and some ran to the forest.”
For its part, the TNLA has stated that two clashes broke out on Saturday; one between its troops and government soldiers from the 88th Infantry Battalion in upper Maw Saung village, from 12:30pm to 1:45pm, and another in Man Kyawt village, part of Shan State’s neighbouring Manton Township, around the same time.