A clash before voting in Shan State North

A Shan State Army (SSA) North patrol and a Burma Army column ran into each other in the hills near Hsenwi, 32 miles north of Lashio resulting in a 3-hour fight on Monday morning, 26 March, according to several sources.

The Burma Army column was made up of elements from Infantry Battalions 69 and 240; and Light Infantry Battalions 323 and 507, said a source who travels between Muse and Lashio. It reportedly suffered 5 killed and 12 wounded.

No further details have been disclosed, although an SSA source confirmed the clash.

Hsenwi is a township in Shan State Constituency # 3 for the National Assembly seat being contested by candidates from 5 parties including the National League for Democracy (NLD), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) and the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

Other townships in Constituency # 3 are Lashio, Kunlong, Tangyan and Mongyai.

Two bridges in the township were blown up by an unidentified armed group, one last night and the other, early this morning. No damages were reported. “The only result is there are more checkpoints being set up by Burma Army,” said a traveler. “Maybe that is what the rebels want.”

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the SSA North are active in this area.

This is the 7th time the SSA North and the Burma Army have fought since the ceasefire agreement was signed on 28 January.

Further details

23 March 2012
Burma Army column charges an SSA temporary base near Mongmaw, Namtu township. The attackers withdraw after 30 minutes.

25 March 2012
Clash south of Hsenwi, after the Burma Army column charges a temporary stopover of the SSA. 40 minutes. SSA seizes 7 M79 shells and 73 sub-machinegun cartridges.