RANGOON — Fighting broke out between the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in five separate locations on Monday, according to sources from the ethnic insurgent force.
Tar Bone Kyaw, the TNLA’s general secretary, told The Irrawaddy the clashes occurred at Nansang, Mongmit and Kutkai townships in areas under the armed group’s control. He claimed TNLA troops had killed 10 Burma Army troops, with a further two civilians portering for the military wounded in the attacks.
“We have had more fighting in our control area, despite ordering our troops to avoid fighting because the election is coming,” he said. “But their troops were chasing our troops, and a fight broke out.”
Eight ethnic armed groups will sign a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese government in Naypyidaw on Thursday. The TNLA, an armed group drawn from the ethnic Palaung population of Shan State, was blocked by the government from participating in the ceasefire accord, along with Kokang rebels from the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Arakan Army.
Tar Bone Kyaw told The Irrawaddy that yesterday’s engagements brought the total number of clashes between the TNLA and the Burma Army to 10 so far in October. There were 18 clashes between the two forces in September.
Attempts by the Myanmar Peace Centre to broker bilateral ceasefire talks between the TNLA and the Burmese government, the first since October 2013, have foundered in recent months.