Artillery Fire Alarms Mongpaw Locals

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Locals reported hearing artillery being fired in the Mongpaw area of Muse District on Friday afternoon.

Mong Baw village
Mong Baw village

Ester, who lives in Mongpaw, said that she heard the shells being shot between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

“The sound of the artillery fire was very loud. I don’t know which armed organization opened fire using the artillery. I am still hearing it,” she told SHAN, adding that she estimated it was taking place around five miles away.

The Burma Army, and Northern Alliance armed group members including the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have been active in Mongpaw.

Locals in one nearby village, Mang Tawng, have reportedly taken refuge from the artillery fire and are staying in another village, Mang Pying.

“Artillery was being fired near Mang Tawng. We are all afraid of it. We are staying quietly inside our houses,” Ester said.

Witnesses said that the Burma Army’s military columns entered the area on the morning before the artillery fire started.

At the time of reporting, KIA spokesperson Col Naw Bu said that he was awaiting an update from Kachin soldiers in the area.

“We haven’t gotten a field report from the front line,” he told SHAN.

According to Col Naw Bu, the KIA’s Battalion 36 and other forces from Northern Alliance members were deployed to the area.  

SHAN tried to call Maj Tar Aik Kyaw, a spokesperson for Northern Alliance member the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), but he also said he had yet to get any information about the situation in Mongpaw.

He did, however, confirm that the TNLA and the Burma Army had clashed on Loi Lan hill near Kawng Lam village in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township on Thursday. The battle lasted at least five hours, he said.

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