A skirmish occurs between ethnic armed groups in Hsipaw

A skirmish between forces of Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) occurred in Ponglon village, Hsipaw Township, Shan State (North) on September 1, leading to two civilians getting injured in the fighting, sources said.

“The locals didn’t exactly claim it was a battle but they heard gunshots. They ran away from the supposed place of fighting and two of them were injured. We assumed they had been hit by shrapnel from artillery shell,” said Ko Sai, secretary of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) in Hsipaw.

Ponglon villagers run away from their homes using vehicles and are taken shelter at Aungmingalar Bodaw Monastery in Hsipaw.

“The first group of war refugees arrived here at 10 pm and two more groups came after. The village administrator arrived here around 11 pm. A total of 193 refugees are now taking shelter at the monastery. Some more came this morning,” he said.

Two injured villagers are sent to Hsipaw hospital and one is in critical condition.

The RCSS and joint forces of SSPP and TNLA encountered near Munsar village, Namtu Township on the same day and TNLA said the fighting occurred as northern allies’ forces conducted an operation to clear the bases of the RCSS in the area, according to an announcement from TNLA’s information team.

Military tensions between army, RCSS, SSPP and TNLA occurred in Hsipaw and Namtu townships and land disputes between ethnic armed groups also caused, sources said.