SHAN STATE – Residents reported feeling concerned due to the junta council giving heavy artillery training to its subordinate Pyithusit militia in Kutkai and Namhpakka of northern Shan State on August 3 night and August 4 morning.
A resident confirmed that the heavy artillery shelling towards Namhpakka and Kutkai is the junta forces training the Pyithusit militia and not attacks by TNLA (Ta’ang National Liberation Army), saying, “The shelling this morning (August 4) is not against TNLA but heavy artillery training. TNLA forces are stationed at Manban Village near Kutkai. Junta forces might be challenging them.”
“Pyithusit fell in droves (in battle). They were given practical training, probably why they died,” the resident continued, referring to the Pyithusit militants that were killed at Yathaetaung near Salent Village, between Muse and Namhkan on August 2.
A resident of Namhpakka also confirmed that the shellings are not from a battle. She added that two, three rounds of heavy artillery fire was heard from the junta artillery hill at Namhpakka after 9 p.m. on August 3, followed by sounds of gunfire which scared the resident civilians.
“I was awoken by the sound of explosion then heard gunshots after that. So, I ran down. Some people even went under their beds,” said the resident.
She continued that the residents are staying indoors on August 4 as well as the military situation is not stable, sharing hear-says that “there will be more shellings, something like a training.”
At present, joint forces of junta and Pyithusit militia have been clashing against TNLA forces in Muse, Namhkan and Kutkai Townships.