Junta forces launched a series of aerial and ground attacks against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in northern Shan State’s Namhsan Township last week, destroying several homes and forcing residents to flee, local sources told Myanmar Now.
The assaults were targeted at a TNLA base located near the village of Kone Thar—10 miles northwest of Namhsan town—and began on the afternoon of December 7, according to TNLA spokesperson Maj Tar Aik Kyaw. They lasted three days, during which time the junta reportedly sent in more than 100 reinforcement troops by helicopter.
On December 8 alone, the military launched around 10 airstrikes on the area, the ethnic armed organisation’s spokesperson said.
“We have been defending ourselves against their attacks,” he told Myanmar Now. “It’s simple: the battles will continue as long as they keep on attacking us.”
Artillery shells fired by the junta’s forces landed in Kone Thar, causing fires to break out that destroyed multiple homes, according to the TNLA.
The number of casualties on each side was not known at the time of reporting.
More than 1,000 civilians, including residents of Kone Thar, as well as the neighbouring communities of Man Long, Ping Long and Hu Man, fled the fighting, according to the administrator of one of the villages in question.
“There were only a few people who stayed behind to look after the valuables, as well as a few elderly people in some of the villages,” the administrator for Ping Long said on Friday afternoon.
Fearing encounters with the military, he added that the displaced locals were avoiding travelling along the main roads, and had fled to the forests.
The military council has not released any information on fighting against Ta’ang forces in northern Shan State.