TNLA, MNDAA Claim to Have Killed Dozens of Myanmar Junta Troops in Shan State

By The Irrawaddy 6 May 2021

The Myanmar military reportedly suffered heavy casualties during fierce clashes with members of the Northern Alliance in multiple locations in northern Shan State on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A combined force of Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) fighters launched attacks on the Myanmar military’s 99th Light Infantry Division and Infantry Battalion 45 in Kutkai Township on Tuesday. The attack came after fierce fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and regime troops in the township’s Manlon Village.

The TNLA and MNDAA announced that they jointly launched attacks on the Myanmar military to help their Alliance partner the KIA, as well as to defend themselves, as the junta has been reinforcing its troops in their areas of activity. The Northern Alliance groups the TNLA, MNDAA, KIA and the Arakan Army (AA).

Fighting between the KIA and regime troops in northern Shan and Kachin states has intensified since the junta killed two anti-coup protesters in Myitkyina in March. Soon after the coup, the KIA refused to recognize the junta and warned it not to harm anti-coup protesters in Kachin State.

The KIA seized a strategic base in Montauk Township and stormed more than a dozen military and police outposts in Kachin’s Waimaw, Momauk, Hpakant, Tanai, Mogaung, Shwegu and Injangyang townships. It has also threatened to step up its attacks if the junta continues to shoot peaceful protesters across the country.

According to a local resident, more than two dozen Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) troops were killed and many weapons were seized by the TNLA and MNDAA during the clashes in Kutkai.

The TNLA and MNDAA said many Tatmadaw soldiers were killed during the clashes, while claiming they didn’t suffer any casualties.

They said the combined force seized weapons from regime troops after intense fighting lasting for two hours on Wednesday in Manpan Village, Kutkai Township.

Myanmar’s Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services had not made any announcement relating to clashes in northern Shan State as of Thursday afternoon.

In late March, the TNLA, MNDAA and AA condemned the military junta and warned they would join forces with all ethnic people in fighting against the regime if its brutal killing of anti-coup protesters continued.

The TNLA, MNDAA and AA warned the military that they would collaborate with other ethnic armed organizations and democracy supporters to defend themselves from the regime’s brutal crackdowns if the violence continued.

Prior to the coup, alliance members had been negotiating individual bilateral agreements between each member and the military to cease fighting, and declared a unilateral ceasefire in support of the negotiations. After the military coup, they extended their unilateral ceasefire until March 31.

After issuing their joint warning statement to military, the groups have not responded

to the military’s latest announcement of an extension of its unilateral ceasefire until the end of May.

Fighting also intensified on Thursday morning between the KIA and regime troops in Myothit Village in Kachin State’s Momauk Township, according to local residents.

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