Over 20 villages have fled after the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) attacked soldiers from the State Administration Council (SAC) in Namtu Township, situated in Kyaukme District.
A 40-year-old man residing in Namtu town said hundreds of people sought to flee the heavy shelling fired by both sides in recent days, where the Ta’ang troops have been attacking the regime’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 324 in the township since December 20.
TNLA deployed troops in Wards 1 and 8 of Namtu town in the early morning hours; they ordered the residents to flee the area before shelling started. Some of these people sought safety in Mansan.
The majority of the villagers uprooted by the latest conflict are hiding in their farms and gardens where they worry about shelling and airstrikes, the source from Namtu town has told SHAN. Others have also gone directly to Mansan or Mong Yin towns.
The affected villages include Seng Ja, Wan Phui, Kong Hsar, Heart Leng, Peing Long, Wan Pangman, Namkarn, Hsai Khao, Nam Mang Saw, and Pang Woe.
At press time, SHAN has been unable to confirm any casualties or damages caused by the conflict in the township where TNLA and SAC have been facing off since the beginning of December.
Locals reported that SAC transport helicopters were spotted transporting families of LIB 324 officers to safety in Lashio.
Since October 27, TNLA and fellow members of Three Brotherhood’s Alliance have captured hundreds of enemy bases and several towns during a well-coordinated offensive across northern Shan State.