Residents fear potential return of clashes between Military and TNLA in northern Shan State

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Hsu/Pearl (NP News) - June 19

Residents in northern Shan State fear potential return of armed clashes between the military and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) alliance.
Recent reports indicate that both the military and the TNLA alliance are reinforcing their forces near Lashio, a town in northern Shan State.

“At around 3 am on June 12-13, rumors of an imminent attack on Lashio spread rapidly on TikTok and other platforms, causing widespread fear and anxiety among residents. Many people found it difficult to sleep at night due to worry. Although the situation appears normal at present and there is no visible heightened security, people remain anxious. Some have even started to relocate," a resident of Lashio told The NP News.

"The resident mentioned that due to these reports, locals are concerned about possible clashes between the military and the TNLA alliance, which has led some to relocate from the area."

"Similarly, reports have emerged from areas near Hsipaw and Kyaukme in northern Shan State, causing residents there to express concern."

"Villagers have witnessed the reinforcement of troops, with some having seen it firsthand and others hearing about it from others. Besides Tangyan, areas around Hsipaw, Kyaukme, and Lashio are filled with anxiety. Rumors of potential clashes at any moment are particularly stressful for families with elderly and children. The presence of ethnic armed groups near their areas and the opening of checkpoints has heightened residents' anxiety. In contrast, in the vicinity of Lashio, where the groups are not openly visible, people feel slightly more at ease," the resident continued.

"In Hsipaw, despite business activities continuing as usual, the news of potential clashes has caused concern among the local population. A resident of Hsipaw explained, "The situation is unclear, with reports suggesting that the TNLA might attack Hsipaw, while others indicate that Shan groups like RCSS and SSPP might retaliate. Everyone is simply waiting and watching."

In January, there were also reports of a possible city seizure attack on Lashio.

The Northern Alliance, comprising MNDAA, TNLA, and AA, launched Operation 1027 on October 27, 2023, attacking military security camps in northern Shan State and capturing some areas. The fighting ceased on January 11, 2024, following a truce between the military and the alliance.

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