Recent clashes near trade routes in northern Shan State have brought land transportation to a halt, truck drivers have told Myanmar Times.
Attacks by Ta’ang National Liberation Army near Kutkai and Shu Khin Thar in northern Shan State has caused fighting between the ethnic armed group and the Tatmadaw (military) to flare up again.
Drivers of goods trucks told the Myanmar Times last Friday that they are monitoring the situation before starting their journeys.
“The fight has been going on for three days. Some trucks are making the journey but while monitoring the situation while others had to turn back. Overall, I think the situation is not safe enough for trucks to pass through,” said one truck driver who declined to be named.
In some of the clashes that happened between Kutkai and Nam Phat Kar, fighters believed to be with the TNLA entered the downtown areas of Kutkai and fired weapons, the driver said.
“The military aren’t conducting area-clearance operations yet as they are dealing with the attacks when they occur. In some of the attacks, shots were fired at private cars and trucks along the road. The military has to try and protect everyone so I think they have a tough job,” said the driver.
Due to the clashes, trucks coming from Muse are being stopped at the 105th mile trading area, and trucks and other vehicles heading to Muse are being stopped at a toll gate.
The clashes have caused the suspension of trade between China and Muse, local sources say.
In August, the Northern Alliance Force attacked several points along the major trade route for China-Myanmar border.
The alliance attacked a toll gate near Pyin Oo Lwin, Gote Twin police outpost on the main trade route in Nawngcho Township, the Gote Twin Bridge, and the bridges along the Kunlone-Theinni road. The Defence Services Technology Academy in Pyin Oo Lwin was also attacked.
Since the attacks on the bridges on the main trade route between China and Myanmar, there have been a series of clashes, which has led to the suspension of trade.
Bridges along the Mandalay-Muse, Theinni, Kunlone-Chinshwehaw trade routes were damaged in the earlier August attacks. – Translated