Burma Army Launches Air Attack on TNLA in Kutkai

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Burma Army used combat helicopters to attack Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) forces in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township on Saturday, the TNLA reported.

Representatives of the armed group said that they had three clashes with government forces on a hill near the villages of Nam Huay and Maru Hpakar from morning until midday on October 26, as well as on October 24 and 25. Following these battles, at around noon the Burma Army attacked the TNLA from the air.

“We have had at least 10 clashes as of yesterday, since we announced our unilateral ceasefire,” Maj Mai Aik Kyaw, who is in charge of the TNLA’s information department, told NMG on Sunday, referring to a declaration made on September 20. “We are having clashes because they are coming to attack us,” he added.

The unilateral ceasefire was declared by the TNLA and two other members of the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups—the Arakan Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—and is supposed to last until the end of the year.

According to the TNLA, the highest number of clashes have occurred in Kutkai Township, and have intensified since they declared their own ceasefire.

“We have also clashed with the Burma Army in Mangton, Namtu, Namkham, Namhsan and the Muse region. Both sides have had casualties but I don’t know the exact number,” Maj Mai Aik Kyaw told NMG.

He added that the Burma Army has expanded its troop numbers in territory controlled by the TNLA.

The Burma Army also had multiple clashes with the Arakan Army in Minbya Township in Rakhine State on Friday and Saturday. The groups also fought in Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung, according to local sources.

In these instances, the Burmese military reportedly used its army, navy and air force to attack the Arakan Army.