Kokang Rebels Reportedly Attack Laukkai Hotel

By Lawi Weng 6 March 2017

RANGOON — Five police and five civilians were killed in an attack by members of the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Laukkai—the administrative capital of the ethnic Kokang region of Shan State—according to a report issued from Burma’s State Counselor’s Office.

The State Counselor Office Information Committee reported that the MNDAA attacked a hotel in the town near the Chinese border early on Monday morning, burning four cars near the hotel site.

The MNDAA members reportedly were dressed in police uniforms and and first attacked a police station in the town.

“Five police, five civilians, were killed and four other police were taken hostage,” said a report from the information committee, which also stated that no Burma Army soldiers were injured in the attack, but they were able to seize some weapons.

“Other armed groups may even be involved in the attacks,” said the report.

Kokang rebels’ video footage states that they launched an attack on a hotel belonging to the governor of the town, who local sources say was once an MNDAA leader, but now supports the Burma Army.

Col Tar Phone Kyaw from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) told The Irrawaddy that Arakan Army (AA) members may have joined the MNDAA in the attacks.

Fighting has been ongoing in other areas of northern Shan State, where the Northern Alliance—to which the MNDAA, AA, TNLA and the Kachin Independence Army belong—and the Burma Army have clashed. Burmese authorities have blocked roads leaving Laukkai.

Just 10 miles outside of Laukkai town, fighting has been ongoing, according to Col San Aung, from a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) which in January joined the Northern Alliance and is based in the Kokang area.