Battles Rage as NCCT Meets UPWC in Yangon

As Ethnic Armed Organizations’ (EAO) Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) meets Burmese government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC) for a five-day meeting beginning Tuesday, March 17, battles continue to rage in ethnic areas in northeastern Burma.

Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) 9th Battalion troops on Thursday fought against an unknown Burmese Army unit at a location between Man Dung and Hu Nam village in northern Shan State. No casualties have been reported from either side.

On the same day, KIA’s 36th Battalion troops engaged in a battle against Burmese Army troops under 77th Light Infantry Division (LID) near Win Seng village in Mungkoe Township.

Ethnic Allied forces from Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army’s (MNDAA), Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Arakan Army (AA) have battled against Burmese Army troops in Laukai area.

TNLA source said its 571st Battalion troops encountered Burmese Army troops between Nam Um village and Sai Hkaung village in Muse Township at 2:20 pm on March 20. Two Burmese soldiers died and no one was injured in this battle, reported TNLA source.

MNDAA spokesperson Tun Myat Linn said Burmese Army has launched repeated attacks this week on MNDAA positions in Shin Htung Tahtan, Hkuk Htan, Kung Kyan and Lauk Kwa Kyaing areas. He said Burmese Air Forces used 4 fighter jets and 2 helicopters to support ground offensives on March 18 and 19.

Several KIA frontline positions have been seized by Burmese Army troops during this month as the two sides prepared to meet for talks in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. Two KIA’s 11th Battalion’s frontline posts, Hting Nu Htung Post and Grau Gra Post, were attacked by a combined force from Burmese Army’s 384th and 386th Light Infantry Regiments on March 12. A KIA post in Sut Len Yang village was burned down by government troops on the same day.

KIA’s headquarters security forces’ Adam (Jahkya Tu) Post was attacked and seized by Burmese Army’s 255th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) troops on March 10. KIA’s 18th Battalion’s Pau Se Post was seized by 255th LIB troops on the same day.

Burmese Army’s 140th LIB troops led by its deputy commander launched an attack on KIA’s 3rd Battalion’s Nang Zaw Yang Post and later seized the post on March 10.