More than 200 villagers displaced in new clashes
More than 200 villagers in Lashio township in Shan State have been displaced by renewed clashes between two armed ethnic groups.
MORE than 200 villagers on the outskirts of Lashio town fled their homes last week as fighting continued between two armed ethnic groups in northern Shan State, a local village official said.
The people who fled Pan Sok and Pan Kwet villages are now staying at a monastery in Mansan village to escape fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) that started late last week.
Among the refugees were 10 pregnant women, 21 infants, children under the age of five, and the elderly.
Mansan is about 30 miles from Lashio and about five miles from Pan Sok.
U Than Aung, administrator of Pan Sok, said fighting in the area has been going on for over a year. At first it was between the Tatmadaw (military) and a combined force of the RCSS/SSA and TNLA, but now it is between the two armed ethnic groups.
“We fled for one-and-a-half months in March, it re-started in July, and now bombs are falling on the village. We could not stay,” he said.
Nan Say from Pan Kwet said they had to abandon their fields when they fled.
“We’ve fled twice. We couldn’t take anything but our children,” Nan Say said.
Tar Aik Kyaw, information officer of the TNLA, said the group has been in at least 80 clashes with the RCSS/ SSA over territory this year. – Myat Moe Thu
Refugees rest at a temporary shelter in Mansan village.