Major junta offensive in northern Shan State fails to capture Kokang base, MNDAA says

A major Myanmar military attack on a Muse Township base of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) ended in a retreat by the junta’s forces on Wednesday, a representative of the ethnic Kokang armed group said. 

The 1pm offensive was launched against a post of the MNDAA’s Brigade 511, located 10 miles northwest of Mongko town near the village of Wein Hseng, in the Mong Paw area. A column of some 80 troops from Light Infantry Battalion 420—under Light Infantry Division 99—assaulted the site for around three hours, firing some 100 artillery shells, before reportedly withdrawing. 

“We were able to defend our camp from the attack. But sadly, one of our comrades was killed and another was injured,” an MNDAA information officer told Myanmar, adding that he did not know how many casualties the junta had suffered.

Local news outlets reported that nearly all of the residents from the neighbouring villages of Samar and Hubak had also fled the area due to the heavy fighting. 

One house in Samar was destroyed by an artillery shell, according to the MNDAA. 

It was not known if any civilians were injured during the clash. 

At the time of reporting, the MNDAA information officer said that tension remained high around Wein Hseng. 

In late November, the Myanmar army launched a three-day attack on another MNDAA camp at the base of Nam Pha hill near the town of Chin Shwe Haw in Laukkai Township, but again was unable to seize the site. 

The MNDAA also reported engaging in clashes near Nam Pon village in Lashio Township with the junta’s Infantry Battalion 291 under Military Operations Command 16 on November 15 and 16. 

The military council has not released any information on recent battles in northern Shan State, where it has also been fighting against MNDAA ally the Ta’ang National Liberation Army. 

The MNDAA has been confronted with several Myanmar army offensives since rejecting a military offer to transform into a border guard force in 2009.

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