Forces belonging to the Three Brotherhood Alliance of ethnic armed organisations attacked a police station on Saturday morning outside of Lashio, northern Shan State, resulting in multiple police deaths, according to local sources.
The site of the attack, the Naung Mon police station, is on the Mandalay-Lashio highway, around 16 miles outside of Lashio.
Troops from the Arakan Army (AA), the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) were involved in the strike, locals said.
Saturday’s attack marks the first since the three members of the Brotherhood released a statement on March 30 saying that they would reevaluate a unilateral ceasefire with the Myanmar military due to the regime’s brutal killings of protesters nationwide since the February 1 coup.
Eight police officers were reportedly killed in the strike on Naung Mon, including the head of the police station, locals told Myanmar Now. However, local media outlet Shwe Phi Myay reported that the number of casualties was 14, with two police officers missing and seven family members injured.
Myanmar Now was unable to confirm these figures at the time of reporting.
Around one hour after the Three Brotherhood forces launched their attack, helicopters from the military junta arrived at the scene and the ethnic armed organisations reportedly retreated.
The police station was set ablaze in the incident, and was still allegedly burning at 10:30am, with rescue workers unable to enter.
The TNLA’s information officer Col Mai Aik Kyaw did not comment further on the attack, saying he had only read about it “on the internet.”
“I have not been able to reach them yet,” he said of the TNLA’s ground troops.
The Myanmar military has set up a base two miles from the site of the Naung Mon police station attack, in Khin Nin village.
At the time of reporting, a resident of the community said that the junta’s soldiers had been shooting “advanced weaponry” in the direction of the police station.
“We heard that the Naung Mon police station had been seized. We don’t know who [seized it],” the resident told Myanmar Now.
The Brotherhood Alliance members are also part of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee (FPNCC) led by the United Wa State Army, a negotiating body.
Another FPNCC member, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), has launched several attacks against police and military posts and warned the junta not to harm civilians.