The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) have confirmed to Mizzima that a battle between their forces and the Myanmar army broke out on Tuesday and that the situation remains tense.
A KIO spokesman said that hostilities flared when government troops advanced on KIO 4th Division positions and a TNLA encampment in northern Shan State.
Kachin Battalion Commander Zaw Saing told Mizzima that government forces attacked them with heavy artillery.
He said the fighting took place near Phai Kaung in Pang Seng Township, Mone Goe Region, which is within KIO Battalion 36’s area of responsibility.
Zaw Saing said that an exchange of fire recommenced on Wednesday, but to date no one has been killed. However, local residents told Mizzima that between three and five government soldiers perished in the battle.
Calling the Myanmar army’s maneuver a “potential obstacle to peace,” the Kachin commander said, “I think it is not right to allow troops to wander around in between the front-lines. We sighted no government columns on previous days. They suddenly appeared yesterday [Tuesday].”
Capt. Mine Bhone Kyaw, the general-secretary of the Palaung army, a close ally of the Kachin rebels, said that the battle lasted about an hour and involved about 700 soldiers from the government forces’ 506 battalion.