UWSA clashes with government troops

Dec 6, 2007 (DVB), Soldiers from the United Wa State Army clashed with Burmese government troops in eastern Shan state on 3 December, with both sides suffering casualties, according to the Shan Herald Tribune.

About 30 soldiers from the ruling State Peace and Development Council's Light Infantry Battalion 360 and another ten from the allied Lahu militias faced around 50 UWSA troops near Mai Sat in eastern Shan state.

At the time the fighting occurred, a Burmese government official was visiting the USWA headquarters area in Panghshang to try to persuade the group to release a statement denouncing detained democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's calls for inclusive dialogue.

However, the skirmish is not thought to have been based on political factors, but to have arisen because of a dispute over control of the drug route.

Casualties were reported on both sides, but there are no further details on the number of people killed or injured.

None of the groups involved could be reached for comment.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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