Myanmar’s military arrested seven people, including three reporters, on the road between Namhsan and Lashio townships in northern Shan State on Monday, according to a statement from the office of the commander-in-chief of the Tatmadaw.
The seven men were travelling in two vehicles near Phayagyi Village and were arrested on suspicion of connection with ethnic armed group the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), which operates in the area.
The Tatmadaw statement said the local reporters—The Irrawaddy’s Lawi Weng, also known as U Thein Zaw, and U Aye Naing and U Pyae Bone Naing from the Democratic Voice of Burma—had been handed over to police.
The duty officer at the Lashio Township police station did not know anything about the arrests when contacted by The Irrawaddy.
The military statement described the TNLA, which has not signed Myanmar’s nationwide ceasefire agreement, as “threatening the peace and stability of the country.”
The reporters traveled to a TNLA-controlled area to report on the destruction of opium poppy plantations by the ethnic armed group.