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Another bout of hostilities reported between RCSS and TNLA

The Shan national flag is seen as soldiers from the Restoration Council of Shan State march in formation during a military parade celebrating the 69th Shan State National Day at Loi Tai Leng, the group's headquarters, on 7 February 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Clashes between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) flared once again over the weekend in Kyaukme Township, Shan State, according to a statement from the latter ethnic armed group.

The fighting, on Saturday morning in Khun Kaw village, saw artillery shells from the RCSS destroy three houses and injure a 60-year-old civilian and two six-year-old children, the TNLA said.

The group added that the latest hostilities erupted after the RCSS entered into TNLA territory.

The RCSS, also known as the Shan State Army-South, could not be reached for comment on the weekend fighting.

The two ethnic armed groups have clashed sporadically in Shan State since they initially came to blows in November 2015, about a month after the RCSS signed the so-called Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the previous government.

Skirmishes more recently took place in December.

The latest fighting comes as preparations continue for the second round of the 21st Century Panglong Conference, which is due to convene on 24 May. The RCSS is expected to attend the high-level peace talks; the TNLA is a much less likely participant.

The RCSS was one of eight non-state armed groups to sign the NCA on 15 October 2015, while the TNLA was not deemed eligible to sign at the time.