MNDAA fighters. / The Kokang

By The Irrawaddy March 3, 2022

Fresh clashes erupted between Myanmar’s military regime and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), also known as the Kokang Group, in Mongkoe, northern Shan State, on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the armed group.

The two sides clashed west of Mount Manpin on Wednesday morning, an MNDAA information officer told The Irrawaddy.

“A hundred soldiers from the 420 battalion of the 99 division came to attack us,” he said.

Junta troops withdrew after 90 minutes of fighting. The MNDAA suffered no casualties and the junta’s casualties are unknown, he added.

Mongkoe is crucial for border trade with China.

About 100 junta soldiers also attacked a hill in Manjie near the border on Tuesday, according to the MNDAA. The group said the regime fired more than 80 artillery shells at its Manrang outpost in Mongkoe on Monday.

The MNDAA said in late November that more than 260 clashes had been recorded with the Burmese junta in Mongkoe since early July.

Reinforcements from the junta have been arriving in Mongkoe via Kutkai since February 24, the MNDAA said, accusing the regime of trying to take advantage of its founder’s funeral to launch attacks.

Peng Jiasheng, 94, former chairman of the MNDAA, died of old age in mid-February and the group had been busy making arrangements for his funeral.

“I think they are taking advantage of the fact that we are busy with the funeral of our former president and attacked us unawares,” the MNDAA information officer said.

He said fresh clashes could erupt at any time in Mongkoe amid high tensions and because reinforcements from the junta continue to arrive.

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