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The Shan State Army-South (SSA-South) has reported an exchange of small arms fire with a Burmese government battalion in the southern Shan State district of Loilem.
Col. Sai La, spokesperson for the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army, the official name for the SSA-South, told DVB today that a clash had broken out on Thursday morning when Shan troops on patrol in a wooded area near the village of Nawng Lay in Mong Pawn Township were ambushed by Burmese troops from the 429th Light Infantry Battalion, based in nearby Hsi Hseng township.
“Our men were patrolling as usual in the area when the government troops came at us out of the blue, without any warning. They had our unit surrounded so we had to shoot back. The firefight did not last long, and we had no casualties on our side,” he said.
The SSA-South clashed in mid-December with the Burmese army’s 94th Infantry Battalion in neighbouring Taunggyi District’s Hopang Township.
Sai La said that skirmishes have erupted frequently between the Shan army and government forces due to a lack of territory demarcation. He warned that a continuation of hostilities could delay the peace process in Burma.
SSA-South is one of eight armed groups which on 15 October 2015 signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government.