Another round of shooting between a Burma Army unit under the control of Shan State South’s Mongnawng-based Military Operations Command (MOC) #2 and fighters from First Brigade of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ that refused Naypyitaw’s order to disarm broke out on Saturday, 18 December, according to local sources.

The incident took place at the same site where the first clash of the two sides had taken place on 11 November, Kunkieng- Wan Lwe, 3 miles west of Wan Hsaw, a village between Wanhai, the main base of the SSA North’s First Brigade, and Monghsu, at 22:30 local time and lasted for 30 minutes, a local villager said.

“A day before the fighting, we saw them [Burma soldiers] turning up at Harng Zarng-Pangwoe villages, on the way from Mongnawng to Monghsu, in the morning,” he said. “They then disappeared into the jungle again.”

According to SSA sources, it was attacked by a 51- strong patrol from Namzang-based Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) # 516.

There were 3 casualties (wounded) on the Burma Army side. No casualties were reported from the SSA side.

“Reinforcements from Wanhai were deployed to encircle them [the Burma Army soldiers] after the fight. But we made no counter attack,” an SSA officer said.

Yesterday, over 100 of Burma Army soldiers from Mongnang were deployed to the scene of the fighting again, according to local sources. “All of them, including the attackers, retreated at 17:00 yesterday,” said an SSA officer. “We let them go.”

The SSA has passed a directive to all of its fighters to be on full alert. Currently, the First Brigade is also reportedly holding its annual meeting at its main base, Wanhai.

The SSA North and the Burma Army have fought five times since 1st September after the SSA refused to disarm, three times in September and the fourth on 11 November.

Reports of clashes between the SSA and the Burma Army have come out steadily these days.

Burma Army soldiers based in Shan State East’s Mongton township on the Thai-Burma border were also ambushed by the SSA ‘South’ twice during the last weekend.

The first attack took place on 17 December, at 8:00 local time between a 60-strong unit of Burma Army soldiers from Mongton-based Infantry Battalion (IB) 277 and SSA’s Battalion No. 404, on a motor road between Maeken and Napakao, resulting 3 dead and some wounded on the Burma Army side, a source close to the SSA said.

On the next day, over 100 Burma Army soldiers including the commander of Monghsat-based Military Operations Command (MOC) #14 were attacked by the same battalion # 404 of SSA ‘South’ led by Sergeant Sai Loi on the road between Monghsat and Mongton, a local resident in Mongton said.

“Dozens of Burma army soldier including the commander were injured forcing them to turn back,” he said. “The commander was reported to be coming out to inspect its border units.”