The death toll from Northern Alliance attack reaches 15

16 August 2019
The death toll from Northern Alliance attack reaches 15
People look at bodies lying on the ground in the compound of the Gote Twin police station in Shan State on August 15, 2019, after it was attacked by ethnic rebel groups. Photo: AFP

The death toll from Northern Alliance attack has reached 15 including 9 military personnel, 3 policemen, 3 civilians.

The Northern Alliance launched coordinated attack on Defence Services Technology Academy (DSTA) campus in Pyinoolwin city in Mandalay Region, Goketwin Bridge in Nawngkio Township in northern Shan State, a police outpost and other targets on August 15 in the early morning. The military said rebels had fired 107mm rockets at the academy from a nearby hillside. Images from local media showing burned out cars and damaged buildings showered in debris.

Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun from Tatmadaw True News Information Team said, “There was an incident of [where the authorities] raided and seized narcotic drugs at a manufacturing and distribution camp in northern Shan State last week. We seized tons of narcotic drugs along with chemical precursors, machinery and other equipment used in manufacturing. We assume that they launched this attack because of this raid.”

In July, narcotics police were met with heavy artillery fire when they launched the major drugs crackdown in Kutkai township in neighbouring Shan state.

Huge stockpiles of chemicals as well as millions of dollars’ worth of ice, the highly addictive crystalised form of meth, were seized in the single raid.

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) claimed the attacks, saying they had acted in retaliation.

"The military launched offensives in our area so we are fighting to defend ourselves," TNLA spokesman Major Mai Aik Kyaw said.

He also confirmed the attacks were coordinated with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Arakan Army (AA).

The AA is also fighting the military, or Tatmadaw, in Rakhine state, but is in a tight alliance with the other rebel groups.

A police major on security duty in Pyinoolwin told Mizzima that a civilian was killed in Pyinoolwin attack, two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the attack on anti-narcotics checkpoint near Nawngkio city entry gate, an army officer, six other ranks, one police inspector, two police other ranks and one civilian driver were killed in attack on Goketwin bridge police outpost.

Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun said that Tatmadaw was in control the security of the area in Pyinoolwin Township now and the army was still conducting area clearance operations in Nawngkio.

Additional reporting AFP