Myanmar Army Seizes Ethnic Mon Armed Group's Base on Thai Border

By Lawi Weng 27 November 2019

Fighting has reportedly broken out with the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) and government forces have seized a Mon base.

Joint forces of Myanmar’s army and the Karen Border Force on Wednesday engaged the rebel army near the Three Pagodas Pass on the Thai border, according to sources.

The incident reportedly happened at 9:30 a.m. when the Tatmadaw (military) tried to check the border at an area controlled by the MNLA. The government troops apparently failed to inform the MNLA.

The MNLA allegedly shot at the Tatmadaw at the checkpoint and the MNLA reported some casualties, said MNLA Captain Nai Bok Mon, who spoke on the phone from the scene.

The Tatmadaw troops retreated after being shot at but returned with the Karen force to attack the MNLA base in Palanjapan Village.

After about two hours, government forces seized the base, according to Capt. Nai Bok Mon.

“We have already left our base but there is still ongoing fighting,” he said during a break from the conflict.

Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the Myanmar army, confirmed the fighting, saying incidents broke out at 9:30 a.m. and then at 11:30 a.m.

A civilian accompanying the Tatmadaw was wounded, he said.However, residents in Three Pagoda Pass believe him an informer.

More than 100 ethnic Mon Palanjapan villagers fled to the Thai side of the border when fighting broke out during the morning.

A member of the MNLA was reportedly killed, although the rebel army has not confirmed it.

Sources said the MNLA has withdrawn from Palanjapan and is now positioned around the village.

The MNLA is the armed wing of the New Mon State Party, which signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. It is the first violent clash between the MNLA and Myanmar’s army since the group signed a ceasefire agreement in 2018.

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