Five civilians have been killed and at least 30 wounded during the last two months of fighting in northern Shan State, according to civil society organizations (CSOs) in the region.
According to the Humanitarian Strategic Team-Northern Shan State (HST-NSS), the casualties were caused by landmine explosions, artillery shells landing in villages, and gunshots. The 30 documented civilian injuries had the same causes.
HST-NSS reported the October and November findings on November 16.
The Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) have had multiple clashes along the national highway in northern Shan State, including the townships of Kutkai, Lashio, Hsipaw, Namhsan and Kyaukme.
“We want all of the clashes to stop unconditionally. We demand that no armed groups attack civilians,” HST-NSS spokesperson Hawng Dau told SHAN. “As a consequence of the clashes, it is really difficult to use the national highway. Schools have had to shut down because of these clashes.”
According to Sai Naw Hseng, of the Tai Youth Network, one of the 133 member groups of HST-NSS, the current fighting is reminiscent of armed conflict that occurred between the Burma Army and ethnic armed organizations in Shan State during major military offensives in the past.
“Clashes have turned into the old form of clashes. We are so worried,” Sai Naw Hseng said, reiterating the call for civilians to be protected.