MNDAA reports major weapons seizure from Myanmar army

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) confiscated several weapons left behind by the junta’s armed forces near Mongko, on northern Shan State’s border with China following a battle on Monday, an officer from the ethnic Kokang army said. 

Kokang troops were stationed in the abandoned Hpauk Mawt village in the hills west of Mongko, and from there clashed with some 80 Myanmar army soldiers from 9am until 6pm, according to MNDAA information officer Yan Naing.

The battle reportedly began to de-escalate by around 3pm, and the junta soldiers—who were from Light Infantry Division (LID) 99—slowly retreated. 

“I think there were some casualties on their side but we don’t know that for sure,” Yan Naing told Myanmar Now, adding that there were no casualties on the Kokang side. “We also managed to seize the weapons and ammunition that they left behind while clearing the area after they left.” 

According to an MNDAA report following the clash, the military abandoned some 20 rattan baskets of uniforms bearing the LID 99 badge, nearly 4,500 bullets, 40 grenades, 18 mortar shells, nine bombs, and six RPGs—all of which were taken by the Kokang armed organisation and documented in photos. 

Yan Naing added that the MNDAA also found and confiscated landmines, power banks, knives, and various communication devices, including mobile phones. 

A Mongko local said that he heard gunshots from his home in the area on Monday and estimated that the military had fired around 20 heavy artillery shells from a tactical hill in Mongko’s sixth ward towards the battle site.

He speculated that there were not any civilian casualties as residents had left Hpauk Mawt more than a decade earlier during battles between the military and the Kachin Independence Army in 2011. 

“There’s no one left in the villages in that area. Everyone has moved to Mongko, so the villages there are all old and abandoned,” the local explained. 

At the time of reporting, daily life had resumed in the town, he added. 

Weapons seized from the junta by MNDAA in Mongko on January 3 (MNDAA)

The MNDAA claimed it killed at least 12 junta soldiers in a previous round of clashes in Mongko in the last week of December in which the military reportedly fired hundreds of shells at Kokang forces but killed none of their troops, information officer Yan Naing said at the time. 

During another clash in Mongko on December 19, the MNDAA reported that some 100 junta soldiers were killed and more than 80 injured, compared to two Kokang casualties and six wounded. The armed group was also allegedly able to confiscate machine guns, ammunition and mortar shells from the military after the battle.

Clashes have been breaking out between the Myanmar military and the MNDAA since June. Fighting escalated in August, prompting over 500 locals from Kaunglon village tract—seven miles east of Mongko—to take shelter in the Mongko Baptist Church. 

In recent months, the military has been sending reinforcement troops from LID 99, as well as a large supply of weapons and ammunition, to the areas where the MNDAA is operating. 

On December 15, the six member groups of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee—an alliance of seven ethnic armed organisations, including the MNDAA—met with military representatives in Mongla, eastern Shan State. 

The agenda and results of the meeting were not disclosed, and attacks—including airstrikes—on the Kokang armed group took place in the days immediately following the meeting.

Myanmar Now tried to contact the junta’s information department for comment on the MNDAA’s report on the seizure of weapons, but all calls went unanswered.  

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