The Irrawaddy

TNLA Claims 3 Army Soldiers Killed in Clash in Namtu

TNLA troops walk to the frontline in Kyaukme Township in this photo from 2016.

Three Myanmar Army soldiers were killed yesterday in a clash with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Namtu Township, northern Shan State, according to a TNLA source.

TNLA spokesperson Major Tar Aike Kyaw told The Irrawaddy that the clash broke out when troops from the Myanmar Army’s Infantry Division 77 launched an attack against a rebel base near Mann Aie village. The fighting lasted over four hours from 9:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

“They came to attack our troops. Our troops attacked them back, and they withdrew,” Major Tar Aike Kyaw said.

“When our troops went to clean up the fighting area, we found three dead bodies of (Myanmar Army) soldiers, and some military equipment,” he said.

The TNLA reported that none of its own forces suffered casualties in yesterday’s firefight.

On June 4, fighting also broke out in the same area between the Myanmar Army and TNLA.

Clashes between the Myanmar Army and members of the Northern Alliance, which includes the TNLA and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), are a regular occurrence in northern Shan.

Separately, Kachin News Group reported that the Myanmar Army launched a surprise attack against a base belonging to KIA Brigade 10 on June 5, killing two KIA soldiers and wounding three others.

The Myanmar Army normally scales back its offensives in KIA- and TNLA-held areas during the rainy season as the conditions make it difficult for soldiers to march or climb mountains to chase and attack the ethnic armed groups.

Meanwhile, fighting in Kachin State has been quiet for over two weeks, although the Myanmar Army has been bringing in reinforcements to positions near KIA-controlled areas near the group’s headquarters in Laiza, according to local sources.