15 Myanmar Junta Soldiers Reported Killed in Shan State

By The Irrawaddy 31 August 2021

At least 15 Myanmar junta soldiers were killed on Monday as clashes with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) continued in northern Shan State, according to local media.

Fighting erupted between the two sides on July 28. The military regime confirmed that junta soldiers were killed and injured in clashes on Saturday with the MNDAA, but denied that commanding officers were among the casualties.

On Monday, MNDAA troops ambushed regime reinforcements marching from Pansai, the armed group’s spokesman confirmed to The Irrawaddy.

“The military are bringing in reinforcements from Pansai and we are attacking on the road about halfway from Pansai. I still don’t know all the details,” the MNDAA spokesman told The Irrawaddy.

A Kokang-based media outlet in northern Shan State reported that the MNDAA ambushed junta troops on Monday between Pansai and Nan Hu and that at least 15 junta soldiers were killed in the fighting.

Following the earlier fierce clash on Saturday, regime troops responded with artillery strikes on Sunday, killing four civilians, including a ten-year-old, in Nam Ha village. Some 700 villagers from Nam Ha and the other villages in the Kaunglon village-tract were forced to flee to Mongkoe.

“The fighting was quite fierce on Saturday. All the villagers fled for fear that they might be trapped in the fighting. Those who have motorbikes fled by bike and those who didn’t fled on foot. We walked for six miles to flee the clash,” said one local villager.

Family members of the four dead returned to Nam Ha on Sunday evening to bury the victims.

Kaunglon village-tract is some six miles from Mongkoe and has a population of around 700 people, according to 2020 data from the township general administration department.

The MNDAA is active in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, as well as in Muse, Hsenwi, Lashio and Kutkai, in northern Shan State.

The ethnic armed group is a member of the Northern Alliance alongside the Kachin Independence Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army.

Before the military’s February 1 coup, the Northern Alliance was in the process of negotiating bilateral ceasefire agreements with the then National League for Democracy government and Myanmar’s military.

Since the coup, junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has reconstituted peace negotiation teams led by generals. However, the Northern Alliance and other ethnic armed groups have refused to hold talks with the regime.

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