YANGON: Myanmar’s military junta reported on Wednesday that confrontations with an alliance of ethnic minority groups near the northern border with China were intensifying. The military forces faced significant resistance, including the use of drones to drop bombs by opponents belonging to the alliance of three ethnic minority groups.
For over two weeks, clashes have engulfed Myanmar’s northern Shan state after an armed alliance comprising the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) launched an offensive against the military. The alliance successfully seized towns and crucial trade routes leading to China.
Junto spokesman Zaw Min Tun revealed that alliance fighters deployed “hundreds” of drones to target junta positions in Tamoenye, Shan state. Additionally, military positions near the town of Laukkai, approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) to the east, were under attack. The MNDAA claimed to have surrounded and aimed to capture this specific military position.
Myanmar Military Resisting Attacks
While the junta spokesman noted that the military was resisting the attacks, casualties and specific details were not disclosed. The ongoing conflict has forced hundreds of people to seek refuge in Lashio town in Shan, according to AFP news agency.
The alliance’s offensive, initiated in late October, represents a substantial military challenge to the junta, marking the most significant opposition since the military coup in 2021. This week, the AA extended its attacks to security forces in Rakhine and Chin states near the border with India, capturing police posts.
In a significant shift, this week witnessed the breakdown of a ceasefire between the junta and the AA in Rakhine, despite prior stability amid ongoing clashes in the north. Anti-coup fighters also targeted security forces in Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state in the east, attacking Loikaw prison and the state’s police office.
The United Nations reported that over 200,000 people have been displaced by the conflict, with at least 75 civilians, including children, losing their lives.