Civilians Trapped Between Fighting In Kutkai Township

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Lum Nyoi was passing through the small village in Burma’s northern Shan State this Friday when she got caught in the middle of fighting between armed combatants.

“We’re trapped in the clash and can’t move forward or backwards,” Lum Nyoi said, but couldn’t determine which armed groups they were or why they were fighting with each other. She was holed up in Kutkai township with gunfire happening around her when she spoke to SHAN.

“They’re still shooting and I’m hiding in a house in Namkut village.”

Lum Nyoi said there were many people trapped in their vehicles in the middle of the street battle between armed adversaries that started at about 10 a.m.

Mine Mai, a local of Kutkai town, which is not far from Namkut, told SHAN that security in the township has been tightened up since yesterday. “I think there will be a lot of military movement in this area in the coming days,” she said.

The Vehicles trapped in the middle of clashes between the combatants in Kutkai Township 2
The Vehicles trapped in the middle of clashes between the combatants in Kutkai Township 2

SHAN repeatedly called Maj Tar Aik Kyaw, a spokesperson for Ta’ang National Liberation Army, for comment about the clashes at Namkut but he didn’t respond.

Tatmadaw and other government security forces seized narcotics and weapons valued at over 414 billion kyat (est US$296 million) in Kutkai township this year. In addition to this, the Kawnghka People’s Militia Force, based in Kutkai township, surrendered their arms to the Burma Army.

At press time, this early afternoon, fighting was still raging in Namkut, with motorists in the town still trapped in the middle of clashes between combatants.

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