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An attack on a Burmese army convoy in northern Shan State has left one solider dead and two injured, according to a witness.
The convoy included armoured vehicles was travelling to Lashio from Laogai, the capital of war-torn Kokang Special Region 1, where martial law will continue for at least a further 90 days by virtue of an act of parliament passed on Wednesday.
Witness Ko Lay told DVB on Thursday that a remote device was detonated as the trucks approached the village of Namhu at 8pm on 18 August.
Namhu lies between Kutkai and Lashio towns in Shan State’s north.
Ko Lay said several windows on his taxi were shattered by the blast as he found himself in-between military vehicles.
“After I overtook two army trucks, I heard a bang. It wasn’t so loud. I then realised my tired had blown out. At the same time, I saw a soldier thrown out of the military truck ahead of me. I was scared and continued driving with the blown-out tire to Namhu village where I reported the incident to local officials and the Union Solidarity and Development Party,” said Ko Lay.
The witness added that officials from the army convoy arrived in the village and confirmed that it was a remotely detonated bomb that had killed one and injured two.
The authorities then recorded his personal details as well as taking photos of his taxi, Ko Lay said. The pictures show Ko Lay’s taxi with shrapnel damage and shattered windows.
Local police and military were unavailable for comment when contacted by DVB on Thursday.
The attack continues a string of violent episodes along the highway that connects Lashio to Laogai. The road has served as a major artery for the Burmese government in its war against ethnic Kokang rebels the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army.
In February, Myanmar Red Cross convoys were attacked on the road on two separate occasions in the space of a week. The first attack, on a group of cars carrying medics and journalists, claimed the life of one Red Cross worker.
The Burmese government accused the Kokang rebels of carrying out the attacks, however the rebels deny the charge and insist that government forces were the only units in that area on the date when the attack occurred.