Fighting between armed ethnic groups has forced more civilians to flee their homes in Burma’s southern Shan State.
Last Friday, two clashes took place between the Restoration Council of Shan State and Northern Alliance groups – the Shan State Progress Party and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army.
The first skirmish took place in the morning in Mong Larng in Hopong Township when the armed groups engaged in a firefight for an hour, a source from the area told SHAN, without releasing his name. The second incident occurred at 2pm the same day. ”We heard heavy gunfire and as the fighting intensified, the villagers fled.”
A woman, who also preferred not to give her name, told SHAN that the Mong Larng residents were staying at the Wam Yein Buddhist monastery in Panglong Township near Hopong.
“When we heard the gunfire, we ran away,” she said. “Most of the people displaced from the village are elderly people who couldn’t carry anything with them when they left the village.
An anonymous resident from Mong Kung told SHAN that villagers from Nawng Moon have sought refuge in the town in the township of the same name, which borders the other two townships.
The armed groups have ignored repeated calls from the Shan community to stop fighting over areas in southern and northern Shan State and begin peace talks to end the conflict, which has intensified since the coup.