Fighting in Shan State displaces 2,000 civilians

LECHAR, SHAN STATE — Recent fighting between government troops and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) has displaced about 2,000 people in southern Shan State, local sources said Wednesday.

Shan refugee sources claimed fighting over the past month has also left five dead, including a five-year-old child.

At present there are an estimated 600 refugees taking shelter in a monastery in Lechar town, another 400 in a monastery in Lashio and 50 more in Taungyi, the three biggest towns in the Shan State.

“We need emergency aid,” said the Abbot of Lechar monastery, who asked to remain anonymous.

“At present, there is no assistance from the government but the Myanmar Red Cross association and Relief International have sent some food, blankets and mosquito nets,” he said.

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Some smaller villages in southern Shan State have been totally deserted, sources said.

Altogether 2,000 civilians have been displaced by the fighting between government troops and the SSA/N which started on  October 26 and shows no sign of letting up.

The biggest battles took place mainly around Mong Naung town, about an eight-hour drive from Taunggyi.

By Mratt Kyaw Thu

By Mratt Kyaw Thu

Mratt is a Senior Reporter at Frontier. He began his career at Unity Weekly Journal in 2010 and focuses on political reporting. In 2017 he won the Agence France-Presse Kate Webb prize for his coverage of ethnic strife in Myanmar.
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