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BURMA: Junta Regional Commander inspects bases facing Wa, Shan armies

May 13, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.), Thailand.

Regional Commander inspects bases facing Wa, Shan armies
©  S.H.A.N.
By Hseng Khio Fah
May 13, 2010

Ruling military junta officials have been inspecting bases in areas facing the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ forces and reinforcing more troops and weapons during this week.

The Northeastern Region Command Commander, Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, on 11 May, reportedly made an inspection around battalions in Mongkao, Shan State North’s Tangyan township, facing the SSA North’s Brigade No.1, the faction that is refusing to convert itself into junta controlled home guard force.

“Over 50 militiamen of Mongkao came to welcome them [commander and his men] at Tangyan,” a source said.

Tangyan is a town located west of the Wa headquarters Panghsang. On the next day, the commander crossed the Salween to inspect his strongest bases, Loi Panglong, northwest of Panghsang, and Manghseng, in the west.

The Burma Army forces are taking positions at all bases facing the Wa capital Panghsang, its 171st southern Military Region on the Thai-Burma border and the SSA ‘North’.

On 10 May, some 40 military trucks were reported passing through Shan State South’s Loilem and Namzang townships and continued to Kunhing, Takaw and Langkhurh on the next day, carrying cable and heavy weapons, local sources from Namzang said.

Another unconfirmed source said the trucks were over 80, some 40 went to Shan State East’s Kengtung and the rest were going to Langkhurh, a town across the Salween, opposite northern Thailand.

On 6 May, some 10 military trucks from 3 battalions based in Tachilek were also reportedly deployed to the Infantry Battalion (IB) #65 command post in Nakawngmu, Mongton township, opposite Thailand’s Chiangmai, said a local villager in Nakawngmu.

Two more units from 2 Light Infantry Divisions (LID): Pegu based LID#77 and Meiktila based #99, will also be arriving within this week, a Burma Army soldier told villagers in Nakawngmu.

Infantry battalions (IB) based in Mongton: IB# 277, 133, 225, 65 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #519 have also been ordered to build more bunkers and trenches in their bases.

Meanwhile, reports of the SSA First Brigade’s preparation for defense were also informed. The group has been rebuilding bunkers, trenches and more forces. All of its fighters in the Monghsu gemland were also told to leave the town since the first week of the month, a source in Monghsu said.


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