Three Brotherhood Alliance Fight to Capture Namtu

After successfully capturing the town of Manton in northern Shan State, Three Brotherhood Alliance has concentrated its efforts on seizing Namtu, where intense fighting with the military regime in the town has forced residents to flee to safety.

A Namtu man, now in Lashio, heard that some civilians were killed during an airstrike but also mentioned that it’s difficult to know what’s happening there after phone and internet services were suspended in Namtu and Manton townships.

The alliance started attacking State Administration Council (SAC) forces in both towns on December 19 and seized the Infantry Battalion 130 base in Manton four days later. They attempted to capture fleeing SAC soldiers at the same time the regime sent in airstrikes that destroyed many houses in the town.

The town of Namtu is only 30 miles away. Fighting was exceptionally fierce on December 27 as the alliance surrounded junta troops from Infantry Battalion 324 at the same time SAC flew airstrikes against them.

“I heard that the Kokang army joined Ta’ang National National Liberation Army (TNLA) to attack the Burma army in Namtu town. Resistance fighters have already reached the downtown and are deployed in the high school and the surrounding areas,” the local source said, explaining that only a few people remain there with both sides shelling each other.

One airstrike wounded a 30-year-old man when it struck the house he was in at the entrance of the town in the evening of December 21. Five days later, two men were killed by a regime airstrike in Ward 3, according to Ta’ang Women Organisation.

TNLA seized Namhsan town on December 15, Namkham town five days later, and Manton town four days after that. If the Ta’ang soldiers take Namtu, it will the fourth town under its control.

Since Three Brotherhood Alliance—TNLA, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (Kokang army), Arakan Army—launched its 1027 Operation on October 27 the groups have captured many SAC bases and towns in northern Shan and Arakan states. Other resistance groups have also initiated their own offensives across Burma, capturing crucial SAC positions in the most significant challenge faced by the military regime since the coup nearly three years ago.

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