UWSA clashes again with drug gang in border area in Myanmar

NAYPYITAW (Eleven Media Group/ANN) - Further clashes occurred between United Wa State Army (UWSA) and a gang of drug smugglers in Myanmar-Thai border area on the night of October 2. 

In the fight, the Wa group seized six bodies, one smuggler and about 3 million WY stimulant tablets from the drug gang, said Nyi Rang, liaison officer from Lashio-based UWSA.   

"There were 10 smugglers on October 1 (the first fighting). On October 2, we fought with those escapees. We seized six bodies, one smuggler alive and 3 million stimulant pills," he said.  

Acting on information that a drug smuggling ring would smuggle narcotics into Thailand by passing through southern military area (171) of Wa Self-Administered Division, a combined team comprising UWSA (171) troops, anti-drug squad and  local police troops started plans to lay in wait along the route on September 10, according to the Facebook post written by Nyi Rang on his account. 

UWSA and a gang of drug smugglers exchanged fire in Lwelhtway valley near Namyoon Village, Hwayaw Township at about 11 am on October 1, and UWSA seized two bodies and eight smugglers, 1.8 million WY stimulant pills and one gun from the drug smuggling gang.

Nyi Rang said some of those drug smugglers carrying drugs are still at on the run in the border area, adding that the number of smugglers is being checked.

"We are searching for them. As the borderline is about 400 kilometers, we find it very difficult to arrest all of them. If those narcotic drugs reach Thailand, they will surely say that the stuff comes from the Wa group. This is their propaganda.

Nyi Rang said those arrested were in same uniform and some guns and grenades were seized from them. He commented that they might have links to some people's militiamen.

"Those guns are not usually carried by ordinary civilians, he added.