Narinjara News has learnt that Arakan Army (AA) forces have been involved in clashes with the Burma Army in Laukkai Town and other areas of the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, in Northern Shan State.
A statement issued by the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on 10 February said that the Peng Jia Sheng led Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the TNLA, the AA and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had all been involved in fighting the Burma Army in the Laukkai area.
A press release by the government army chief office issued on 10 February said that government forces had been fighting with the MNDAA forces since 9 February.
According to that statement on 10 February the Burma Army cleared Kokang Forces as they retreated in the west and northwest of the area. They fought three times with them east of Nyan-Khwam Village in the northeast of Laukkai Township and once northwest of Tar-Shwe-Htan Village.
The 12 February edition of the Daily Eleven Newspaper said that there was very heavy fighting between the government forces and the alliance forces of the MNDAA, the TNLA and the AA in the Laukkai area, which started on 10 February and continued to 11th February. According to the report the fighting started when the MNDAA attacked the government allied self-administration office, there were casualties on both sides.
U Tun Myat Lin an MNDAA spokesperson told Daily Eleven that five alliance soldiers and about 70 government soldiers died.
Although analysts on the China-Burma border said that the fighting had become very heavy after Government Brigade 33 forces had entered the area, U Tun Myat Lin denied this and said that though there was fighting with Brigades 33 and 77 it was not particularly heavy.
Democracy Today Newspaper published on 11 February said that the fighting had become very heavy and that the government forces attacked the alliance forces with MIG 29 fighter jets and MI 35 helicopters on 10 February.
High ranking Burma Army officers told Democracy Today that, including officers, about 20 soldiers died in the fighting. They also said that alliance forces attacked the government’s 936 Quartermaster Battalion and 917 Engineering Battalion from Tar-Shwe-Htan at 8am on 10 February. They also attacked the police station in Laukkai Township at 9am on 10 Feb, killing several police officers in the attack.
The Union Daily News confirmed the attack on the police station and said that U Aik Soon, a Laukkai resident, told them that six police officers had died in the attack.
As a result of the fighting local residents and government officials fled from Laukkai Town.
The MNDAA is led by Peng Jia Sheng and were originally part of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). In 1989 they separated from the CPB and became the first ethnic armed organisation to sign a peace agreement with the government who designated the Lukkai area a Special Zone.
Since the MNDAA refused the government’s wishes to transform into a Border Guard Force (BGF) in 2009 there have been tensions between both sides.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI