EYEAFRICA TV: Yangon, Myanmar: Five civilians, including two children, were killed in northeastern Myanmar Saturday when artillery hit a village amid talks between rebel groups and the government to end the conflict.
Heavy fighting broke out for more than six hours between Myanmar’s military and the Northern Alliance rebel coalition near the town of Kutkai in the northern Shan state early on Saturday, according to local media reports and activists.
The Radio Free Asia Burmese service reported artillery shells landed in the village of Mawhit, killing three women and two children. It added that three others were injured and taken to hospital in Lashio, the capital of northern Shan.
Lwan Nyel, vice-chair of the Kachin Literature and Culture Association in Shan state, told Anadolu Agency that three shells hit Mawhit. “A shell hit a house directly, and killed a mother and her 5-month old daughter in the house,” she said by phone from the village.
She added that a nine-year-old boy was also among the five casualties.It is unclear which groups – military or rebel groups – fired the shell. “We don’t know, and don’t want to know who is responsible for this incident,” said Lwan Nyel. “We just want this kind of incident to never happen again.”
There has been fighting on a daily basis since the Northern Alliance — a rebel collation of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Arakan Army, and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army — last month launched synchronized attacks on a major military training academy and several positions in Shan state, halting Myanmar-China cross-border trade.
The Myanmar government’s Union Peace Commission and rebel representatives on Saturday held a meeting in Kengtung, a town near Myanmar’s northeastern border with China.
It brought no breakthrough, but parties said that they agreed to meet again on Sept. 16-17 to end fighting and reach a deal for a bilateral cease-fire.