Fighting between the Burma Army (BA) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) brought traffic to a standstill in Kutkai Township on Sunday, 4 September.
An anonymous motorcyclist said: “We heard guns and heavy weapons fired” near the highway outside Mang Pein village in the village tract sharing the same name for about an hour at midday.
After the fighting ended, traffic continued as usual, but soldiers demanded money from buses travelling on the road, said another motorist driving from Lashio to Muse.
Sunday’s violence was the first time fighting has broken out in Kutkai in several months, raising fears that the conflict in the area will flare up again.
The Shan State Progress Party, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and People’s Militia Force all maintain a presence in the township.
On the same day, the KIA and the People’s Defence Forces clashed with the BA in Namtu Township, about three hours’ drive south, after which villagers from Loi Myae and Nam La fled to the Bawdwin lead mine, where they remain, a man who requested anonymity told SHAN.
The man said both sides used light and heavy weapons during the 30-minute clash in the Hing Pok village tract. Although the fighting has now stopped, the armed groups are still in the area, so villagers don’t feel safe to return.
The groups last clashed in the township on 28 August and at that time 50 people fled to the mine.