Three regime soldiers are dead and five wounded during fighting with the Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) on Huay Kham Hill, according to the armed group, which is resisting efforts by the Burma Army (BA) to expel them out of Mongmit Township in northern Shan State.
The SSPP engaged in a nearly 30-minute battle with about 60 BA soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 348 and Infantry Battalion 276 on the afternoon of 17 September. The battalions had arrived in Wan Ohn village tract from Mongmit town in the morning.
According to the Shan group, the BA told the village headman of Wan Ohn, which is close to where the fighting happened, to tell them to leave the area on 16 September, to which they refused.
Locals told SHAN on Sunday 18 September that there was no fighting, but that more BA troops were arriving in the village tract.
“Two military trucks carrying soldiers travelled to Huay Kham Hill where the SSPP has also deployed more troops,” a source told SHAN on condition of anonymity out of concern for his security.
Following Saturday’s skirmish, he said the BA ordered the closure of several schools in Wan Ohn and Moebon, which are both situated at the foot of Huay Kham Hill where the armed groups are facing off. Classes in the primary school in Wan Ohn has been suspended and at the Moebon middle school.
“Both the BA and locals are well aware we have established a presence here. Villagers won’t enter our territory. However, we have heard the BA sent more troops into this area and if they enter our territory, we’ll shoot them,” a SSPP officer told SHAN.
Top SSPP leaders attended the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee meeting in Panghsang (aka Pangkham), the headquarters of the United Wa State Army, on 16 September.
SSPP also clashed with the regime between Moebon and Wan Ohn on July 1.