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Wa bombards Shan positions

by admin last modified 2005-05-23 13:26


Wa bombards Shan positions

Shan State Army base across Maehongson's Pang Mapha district was pounded with more than a hundred 82 mm mortar shells at 06:00 this morning followed by "human wave" charges that resulted in heavy casualties on the part of the attackers, according to Shan and Thai military sources:

The hostilities have been taking place near the Thai village of Mai Lan in Mae Lana tract, some 10 km southeast of the SSA's Loi Taileng headquarters. More than 30 shells fell inside Thai territory, said sources. Details however are still scarce at the time of this reporting (13:00).

The attacks resumed two days after the failure of both sides to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. (Related report: War with Wa inevitable, 11 April 2005)

Unconfirmed reports said the unexpected war between the SSA and the United Wa State Army was the offshoot of Panghsang (Wa headquarters) - Rangoon meeting last month when Wa representatives were told all territories they were able to recover from the SSA would be theirs.

Thai military and drug officials however have scorned the outbreak of warfare as a long established Wa modus operandi of bringing down drugs to the Thai border. "Just a red herring", a veteran security officer scoffed. "We have received reports the Wa had cleared out the last of their stocks in Panghsang recently (ahead of the 26 June deadline) to declare it a drug-free zone."

According to sources in Mongton, opposite Chiangmai, the consignments shipped down to the Thai border totaled 1.4-2 tons of heroin and 14-30 million methamphetamine pills.