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Burma Army reinforcing troops in recent battle scene with RCSS/SSA

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According to local sources the Burma Army (BA) has been reinforcing its troops around recent battle scene with the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), in Kholam area.

Village elders were worried of the escalating military tension, when they saw forty four-wheel drive, packed with BA solders from Nam Zang Township headed for the battle scene that had erupted four days ago.

"Some of the cars were filled with BA soldiers, while others were fully loaded and heavily camouflaged. It seems that they are moving towards the battle scene on Sunday, 24 February", said a traveller, who is also a member of a political party.

A fire fight broke out on 24 February from 2:30 to 3:30 P.M. between the RCSS/SSA and a column from Burma Army's IB 66 based in Kholum, Southern Shan State, killing 5, including its leader, Col Kyaw Myint Htun. 8 assorted guns, a walkie-talkie and other military hardware were captured, according to the SSA sources. SSA has indicated that it would hand back the captured weapons, if asked.

”The BA wanted to get back their lost weapons, but said that the SSA should leave them with the village headman and will come to take them back later. RCSS/SSA don't agree with it for it wants to give them back formally", said a person near to the RCSS/SSA leadership.

Meanwhile, Major Dewing, representative of the RCSS/SSA in Kholam liaison office, who was said to be detained by the BA, has been released from Central-eastern Command office and that he was only questioned and not detained, as has been rumoured.

Similar episode also occurred last August, when the BA detained ten persons on charge of being hardcore members of the the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), which was responded by the abduction of BA officer Thet Soe of the LIB 324. The BA in turn detained a liaison officer of the SSPP/SSA for Lashio for 48 hours in BA North-eastern Command office.

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