Burma Army and KIA Clash in Northern Shan State

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) confirmed that they had two clashes with the Burma Army in northern Shan State’s Muse Township at around 7:00 p.m. on June 6.

An unidentified Tatmadaw military column and the KIA’s Battalion 9, under the sixth brigade, had clashes at Htan Hpa hill and in Layan Kawng in Muse.

“The Burma Army’s military column came from Hu Hpyet into our Battalion 9 area, so we had two clashes with them. We have to defend ourselves,” a KIA officer from the KIA’s Brigade 6 told KNG on the condition of anonymity.

According to local sources, military columns from the Burma Army’s Light Infantry Division (LID) 88 and LID 99—the government forces’ “shock troops”—had been active in the area when the fighting broke out.

The KIA officer who spoke to KNG said that he didn’t know whether the Burma Army had suffered any casualties in the clashes, but noted that no one was injured in the KIA side.

On May 9, the Burma Army declared a unilateral ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic; while it was supposed to be applicable nationwide, the government forces excluded areas where so-called “terrorist” organizations were active. The move was a likely reference to the Arakan Army, with whom they have been engaged in intensifying offensives in Chin and Rakhine states in recent months, and who the government declared a terrorist organization on March 23.

Despite the ceasefire declaration, the Burma Army has continued its military offensives against the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in northern Shan State. Clashes have occurred in the region almost every day this month.

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