Stray Myanmar Artillery Injures Villagers in Northern Shan State
By Lawi Weng 25 October 2019
A mother and her 12-year-old daughter were wounded by artillery in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State, amid fighting between Myanmar’s army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
Ze Nyoi suffered a head injury and Lashi Mai Mai, her daughter, was wounded in her right leg, which was bleeding heavily. She was treated at Kutkai Hospital.
Mawhan village tract has eight villages and 200 houses.
Mawhan Kachin Baptist Church helped the two members of its congregation receive treatment.
Fighting was reported at a mountain near the village of Namh Wei yesterday between the Myanmar army and TNLA, according to church leader Daw Jau Seng Aung. She told The Irrawaddy that three artillery shells fell on Pado Phaka Village Thursday evening.
Government forces from Tar Moe Nyar reportedly fired the artillery in support of troops trying to take a TNLA hilltop stronghold near Namh Wei, she added.
Some shells from Tar Moe Nyar and Kutkai missed their target and injured villagers.
“The artillery shells did not come from the fighting area. They came from Tar Moe Nyar,” Daw Jau Seng Aung said.
Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for Myanmar’s military in Naypyitaw, told The Irrawaddy that there was fighting today and yesterday in Kutkai. But he reported that the fighting was at a different time from the TNLA.
He also denied the army was responsible for the artillery attack on Pado Phaka.
The TNLA said a half-hour clash broke out in Namh Wei yesterday evening during fighting to take the rebel group’s hilltop outpost.
Some Namh Wei villagers left their homes this morning to avoid more artillery strikes while others hid in the village bunker.
Major Tar Aike Kyaw from the TNLA told The Irrawaddy that government artillery in Kutkai was targeting the TNLA base this morning.
The TNLA stopped traffic this morning to prevent injuries from the artillery, said Maj. Tar Aike Kyaw.
Three separate battles occurred in Namkham and Kutkai townships, according to the TNLA.
The armed group is a member of the Brotherhood Alliance, which announced a ceasefire last month until the end of the year.
However, the TNLA says Myanmar’s army has attacked its base 10 times since the ceasefire was announced.