At least seven soldiers from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) are reported to have been killed in fighting in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township on Sunday.
Sai Hseng Murng, the spokesperson for the RCSS/SSA, told SHAN on Monday that five TNLA soldiers were killed and another nine were injured during the clashes.
The clashes, which began at about 8.45 am, took place in Kankaw and KinKhai village tracts, in Kyaukme Township. The clashes lasted for about four hours.
Sai Hseng Murng alleged that the TNLA troops had first attacked the RCSS/SSA forces.
“They knew that our soldiers were in the area and they attacked us,” he said. “Even though we asked to discuss this issue, they never replied. They kept attacking us.”
The TNLA Information Department’s Facebook page featured an update on Sunday which claimed that two RCSS soldiers had been killed. The TNLA update also stated that another two RCSS soldiers were injured during the fighting.
In an interview with DVB that aired earlier today, a spokesperson for the TNLA, Mai Aik Kyaw, repeated the group’s claim that two RCSS soldiers had been killed during the clashes.
Sai Hseng Maung, the RCSS spokesperson denied that this had happened. He said that his side did not in fact suffer any casualties.
Fighting between the two armed groups first broke out on November 27 last year. More than 4,000 civilians from Kyaukme, Namhsan and Namkham townships have fled their homes since the clashes began.
The RCSS/SSA was among eight ethnic armed groups that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) with the government on October 15 last year. The TNLA did not sign the agreement.
BY SAI AW / Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
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