Escalating Military Tensions in Muse Raise Concerns

On Monday, gunfire was heard from five locations in Muse, according to locals from the town in northern Shan State.

“We heard the sound of gunfire from different places in Muse last night, but I don’t know why it’s happening,” a local said on condition of anonymity. However, he suspects it’s an instigation by the Military Council to tighten security in the town.“Their drones flew over the People’s Militia Force’s territory, and the PMF soldiers tried to shoot them down.”

Around the same time, regime soldiers from their base near what’s locally called the 105-mile trade zone, near the town, were killed during fighting with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) near Nam Oum in Muse Township. One shell struck the village, damaging a home, but fortunately, no one was wounded.

The fighting in the Muse Township has intensified after the regime forces clashed with TNLA troops near Sel Lant, close to Namkham Township, on 23 July.

“Two PMF soldiers were killed during the clash, and the PMF said that they would take revenge. This is why PMF soldiers were alerted and getting ready to fight against TNLA last night” and when the drones flew over their camp. He said the Burma army often flies their drones at night and doesn’t know if the other armed groups are using them.

The man suggest the regime wants full control of the town of Muse and sent the drones, which is supposed to be an ally, as a warning.

The TNLA frequently attacks regime columns traveling between Muse and Namkham from Kutkai.

The Kachin Independence Army, an ally of the TNLA, ambushed a junta column returning from Lashio between Kutkai and Namphetka.

With various groups clashing with the Burma army between Lashio, Kutkai, and Muse highway, tensions on the connecting highway remain volatile.


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