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Another border alert

by admin last modified 2007-04-21 06:27

Both Shan and Thai border units have been placed on the alert following reports of the arrival of a Burma Army-United Wa State Army (UWSA) joint force opposite Maehongson's Pang Mapha district on Thursday, 19 April, according to border sources.

No.09 - 4/2007
21 April 2007
War
 
Another border alert
 
Both Shan and Thai border units have been placed on the alert following reports of the arrival of a Burma Army-United Wa State Army (UWSA) joint force opposite Maehongson's Pang Mapha district on Thursday, 19 April, according to border sources.
 
A 200-strong joint force led by Col Than Tin Aung, area commander for Mongton township, across Maehongson and Chiangmai provinces, in 21 four-wheel trucks turned up at Wan-mai, the scene of heavy fighting between the Burma Army-UWSA expeditionary force and the Shan State Army two years earlier. "The bases surrounding the Loi Taileng base of the SSA were inspected from 08:00-12:00 before his return," said a source close to the Thai military.
 
The month long attack on Loi Taileng was called off after the alliance reportedly suffered at least 700 casualties.
 
It is not clear whether the inspection trip could be considered a prelude to another assault on the rebel stronghold. "Relations between Panghsang and Loi Taileng are on the whole satisfactory, if not exactly friendly," said on SSA insider source. "But we have no idea how much Panghsang is able to keep Wei Xuegang (Commander of 171st Military Region whose forces are active along the Thai-Burma border) in check."
 
Wei, a drug fugitive from both the United States and Thailand, is said to be desperate for a reassuring status inside Burma.
 
Both Thai and Shan sources meanwhile say there is as yet no other indication that an offensive is in the making. "While reports of fighting keep coming," said a veteran Burma watcher, "they appear to be more of a chance nature rather than preplanned."
 
"On the other hand, the army has completed its sweeping purge of unwanted officers during the second week of March. Appointments of several acting battalion commanders are also being confirmed by the high command. So we can say that the army is now 70% battle ready," he added.
 
http://www.taifreedom.com., the SSA website, features two recent clashes:

  • 8 April, Ambush in Kehsi where a Maj Tun Oo from Infantry Battalion 131 was killed and 4 others wounded

  • 13 April, Clash in Mongpiang, Lawkzawk township, where two Burma Army men were killed and more than 10 wounded

Loi Tai Leng