Hundreds of Villagers Flee Kutkai Fighting

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More than 400 people have fled their homes due to clashes near Kon Hser village in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State. 

Forces belonging to the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) engaged in fighting near the community on September 24, leading to the displacement of locals.

Kutkai  IDP
Photo by – ကွတ်ခိုင် ပရဟိတ အဖွဲ့ | Kutkai IDP

Tin Win, who works for the Garuna Social Volunteer Team in Kutkai town, said that over 130 Kon Hser villagers have sought refuge in Mangton village, and villagers from the communities of Law Moong, Mang Aie, and Per Ju are staying in monasteries and churches in Kutkai Township.

The total number of people, he added, exceeded 400. 

“Clashes intensified yesterday. I heard the sound of heavy weapons firing this morning. Now it’s stable,” Tin Win told SHAN on Wednesday. 

The internally displaced people are in need of food aid and drinking water. 

Maj Tar Aik Kyaw, who is in charge of the TNLA’s information department, told SHAN that there were no battles in Kutkai Township as of Wednesday, but that the Burma Army was continuing to fire on the TNLA. 

“The Burma Army unilaterally opened fire with their heavy weapons. There were no clashes,” he told SHAN. 

Kutkai  IDP
Photo by – ကွတ်ခိုင် ပရဟိတ အဖွဲ့ | Kutkai IDP

According to Maj Tar Aik Kyaw, the Burma Army and the TNLA fought in Kyaukme and Hsipaw townships after a meeting between representatives of the government and the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed groups, of which the TNLA is a member. The meeting took place in Kengtung, eastern Shan State on September 17.  

Three members of the Northern Alliance—the Arakan Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the TNLA—extended their unilateral ceasefire until December 31. The Burma Army’s own unilateral ceasefire expired on September 21 and the military did not extend it.

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