The RCSS and SSPP were fighting nearby, although it is unknown which group’s weapons hit the 22-year-old man.
A 22-year-old man suffered serious injuries after being hit by shrapnel from a shell that landed near him on Tuesday near Hsipaw Township’s Ta Lon village.
After first being sent by the social outreach group Volunteers Without Borders to Namlan hospital—where an operation was not able to be performed—Sai Kham was taken to Hsipaw’s public hospital for treatment. A relative told SHAN that shrapnel had penetrated Sai Kham’s bone.
“[Sai Kham] didn’t run away when we began to hear sound of guns shooting. Later on, the fighting became intense. Then he ran away from his home in fear,” explained Sai Sai, a fellow resident of Ta Lon that has since sought refuge in Ner Makhaw monastery. “When Sai Kham arrived on the east side of Ta Lon village, a shell landed near him. Then he got shrapnel injuries. After that, he called his friend by phone for help.”
While it is unknown which group’s weapons hit Sai Kham, Sai Sai added that the organizations fighting were the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), and that they are typically “only active at night.”
SSPP reported the clashes near Ta Lon village on their social media page, alleging that RCSS had entered the area and attacked them. RCSS wrote on their own “Tai Freedom” page that SSPP had shelled Ta Lon village.
Conflict has escalated between the two Shan forces in Hsipaw since late 2018. Numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) have fluctuated, with an estimated 1,150 IDPs now staying in five monasteries and churches. They come from at least 10 villages.