Plan for the inauguration of the new sub-township in Mongton township, opposite Chiangmai’s Wiang Haeng district, today has been postponed following shelling by an unknown armed group on Friday night (18 February), according to sources from the border.
The shelling between 21:00-22:00 local time had killed and injured an unspecified number of Burma Army soldiers.
The United Wa State Army’s 171st Military Region, whose transport line between 772nd Brigade in Mongjawd in the east and 778th Brigade in Khailong in the west, has been threatened by the Burma Army base in the middle, has denied any responsibility outright.
The other belligerent the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, whose main base Loi Taileng lies further west was also vehement in its denial. “It’s not our communication links that have been severed,” responded Lt-Gen Yawdserk, the SSA South leader, to SHAN’s query. “We are in no urgency to attack it.”
The Monghta sub-township which came into being last month used to be part of the stronghold of the Mong Tai Army (MTA), the SSA South’s predecessor, until 1996 when its leader Khun Sa surrendered.
Junta authorities have invited people far and near to resettle in Monghta, 44 km north of Wiang Haeng border, offering privileges such as “permission to grow anything without official interference for 6 years”, according to one of informed source.
Monghta will also serve as a railroad link between Mongpan, west of the Salween, and Mongton, east of the Salween, according to an unconfirmed report.