By HTUN KHAING | FRONTIER
YANGON — The Tatmadaw and Ta’ang National Liberation Army have both blamed each other for a deadly mortar attack in a Namhsan Township village on Thursday afternoon.
Two civilians, including a kindergarten student and a travelling musician from Mandalay, were killed in Hochaung village while eight others were injured.
State-run newspapers claimed Friday that the TNLA attacked security forces near the village, with four mortar rounds fired by the Palaung armed group fell on Hochaung during the confrontation. The TNLA has vigorously denied the reports.
“The village was holding a rally which they thought was to mark our National Resistance Day, so they shelled the village,” a commander from the TNLA, who requested anonymity, told Frontier.
Locals said the shells fell near a house where a rehearsal was being conducted for an upcoming school concert.
One person is in a serious condition at Lashio Hospital along with the seven others injured in the bombardment, according to Mong Win Htoo, the Ta’ang National Party MP representing Namhsan in the Pyithu Hluttaw, who visited the village after the attack.
According to the Myanmar Peace Monitor, at least 20 clashes occurred between the TNLA and the Myanmar Armed Forces in December alone.