Two people are dead and eight were arrested by Wa forces following a shootout between United Wa State Army (UWSA) soldiers and alleged drug traffickers in Mongton Township in the southern area of the Wa Self-Administered Division.
The gunfire fight occurred between Huay Aw and Nam Yom villages in Pon Pajin sub-township on October 1.
“Our forces had gotten information that drug traffickers were sending yaba to Thailand through our Military Region 171,” Nyi Rang, who is in charge of the UWSA’s liaison office in Lashio, told SHAN.
He added that 1.8 million yaba pills—methamphetamine—were seized in the bust.
“We are still investigating this case,” he added, saying that it was not yet known if a larger organization was behind the incident.
Not all allegedly involved were detained or killed, Nyi Rang said.
“As far as I know, some traffickers escaped. I heard that they have arrived in Thailand,” he said.
The bust in Military Region 171 this week follows another incident on August 26 near the Thai-Burma border. In that case, Wa forces transferred those detained to government authorities.
The UWSA established an anti-drug policy after drugs became seized more frequently in the southern Wa Region, according to Nyi Rang.