Myanmar Junta Forces Lose 10 Dead in Shan State Clashes
By The Irrawaddy 2 December 2022
Myanmar’s military regime suffered at least 10 fatalities in fighting earlier this week with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Shan State, the ethnic armed organization (EAO) told The Irrawaddy.
The Myanmar military and the MNDAA have been clashing since November 27 to the north of Chin Shwe Haw Town in northern Shan State’s Laukkaing Township.
An officer from the MNDAA information department said: “According to our intelligence, the Myanmar military has been waiting for an opportunity to attack us. The MNDAA did not suffer any casualties.”
The MNDAA added that two regime company commanders were among the 10 soldiers killed in fighting on Tuesday, while a battalion commander was wounded. The Irrawaddy could not verify casualties independently, while the junta has said nothing about the fighting.
Around 500 junta troops gathered in Chin Shwe Haw on the border with China, before attacking the MNDAA base in Mt. Nam Pha, according to the MNDAA information department.
Military analysts said Mt. Nam Pha is located between Lone Htan Village and Chin Shwe Haw in the south of Laukkaing Township.
Regime troops and the pro-junta Kokang Border Guard Force (BGF) attacked the MNDAA base in three columns, said the MNDAA information department.
Kokang BGF is based in the Kokang Self-administered Zone in northern Shan State and is headed by the pro-military ethnic Kokang businessman Liu Zhangxiao.
On Wednesday, the MNDAA carried out surprise attacks on two rear bases of the Myanmar military. The two sides also clashed on Thursday.
The MNDAA has criticized the military regime for having no genuine desire for peace, despite proclaiming a unilateral ceasefire with EAOs on March 1. The junta said the ceasefire would continue until December 31.
“It appears that the two sides will fight again and that they are preparing for war,” said a military analyst.
From early July 2021 to March this year, MNDAA fighters were involved in hundreds of clashes with regime forces around Mongkoe to the west of the Salween River. Mongkoe is a town crucial to the border trade with China. Fighting has now erupted to the east of the Salween River in the Kokang Self-administered Zone.
The MNDAA established a new brigade, Brigade 611, earlier this year as it attempts to return to Kokang, which it was driven out of in 2009 by a Myanmar military offensive.