Violence in northern Shan State has intensified between the Burma Army (BA) and several ethnic armed groups, with causalities reported on all sides, while the military forced drivers in Lashio Township to take their injured soldiers to the hospital.
”We took two soldiers to the hospital yesterday,” said a driver who’d noticed that some soldiers were carrying two rifles that he assumed had been recovered from fallen enemy fighters during the clashes that had broken out between Mong Yaw and Lashio since late October.
”There’s no fighting inside the village, but they still force villagers to work as porters. That’s why we’re afraid to travel and no one leaves their house in the evening. The fighting takes place almost every day,” another civilian tells SHAN.
At the end of October, a bomb exploded in Mong Yaw police station when a column of 100 BA soldiers entered the village.
Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Arakan Army, Kachin Independence Army and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) have soldiers in Mong Yaw region.
On 1 November, three people were injured after stepping on hidden landmines in Kyu Shaw Tawng village in Kyaukme Township.
A father and his three-year-old son accidentally detonated a hidden explosive device as they left their village for Kyaukme town. The father suffered a wound to his ankle and his son was injured in the hip by the blast. A farmer stepped on the second landmine on his way to his paddy field, injuring his legs and arms.
The Kyaukme Nam Khong Shan volunteer team and other volunteers took them to Kyaukme, where they were later taken to Lashio Public Hospital.
Ethnic armed groups fighting for territory and the BA, which also maintains troops in the area, all plant landmines that often maim or kill innocent civilians.
In southern Shan State, villagers displaced for over a month by conflict between rival Shan armed groups in Mong Kung Township have run out of basic foodstuffs. For the civilians living in the camps in Pan Kay Tu village tract, there’s nothing left to eat except pumpkin and some fruit.
”They’ve neither rice nor vegetables… We’re waiting for donors to provide us with food,” a male member of the Pan Kay Tu IDP (internally displaced persons) Committee told SHAN. New fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State and the SSPP near Loi Yoi on 1 November forced the IDPs to move their camp to a safer location, the man said.
The conflict in Pan Kay Tu village tract has already affected 674 people from 8 villages. In Mong Kung Township, there’s thousands of IDPs. Some people were injured when the lorry carrying them to safety capsized during the fighting. Others got hurt from shells hitting their villages or after stepping on landmines.