More than 600 war refugees from Namtu Township, Shan State are in need of aid due to continuous fighting, said Mahnyin village tract administrator Tun Lin on May 17.
Fighting broke out between Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on May 4 and 5. On May 10 and 16, the military and the TNLA clashed. Some locals have been injured and houses damaged, he said.
War refugees are temporarily taking shelter at Mahnyin Monastery, Wainnan Monastery and Pankhan Monastery and they only have food ration for ten days, he added.
The place where the fighting broke out is occupied by the army, SSPP, TNLA and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS).
Maj. Mai Eike Kyaw, information officer of the TNLA said although their troops are not fighting with the SSPP and RCSS, they have strong tension with the army.
“Our forces fought with the army daily since May 1 till yesterday. We encountered the army for 11 or 12 times in Kutkai, Namtu and Muse,” said the major.
Sources said a total of 19 people including 15 locals, one police officer and three militiamen were killed and 27 people were injured in the attacks by the TNLA in Muse.
The army said the attacks in Muse were carried out by the TNLA and Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
The TNLA initially claimed that they conducted a small military operation to attack Muse as the army reinforced their troops in the forest and intensified fighting with their ally KIA. Later they back peddled and said it was targeted to gambling dens owned by Panse People’s militia group, which are also used in illegal drug trading.