The junta on Saturday said the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), another ethnic armed group based in neighbouring Kachin state, had joined the attacks on its forces, and that it would retaliate.
Local media reported the junta had shelled the remote town of Laiza on the Chinese border, home to the KIA’s headquarters.
AFP has attempted to reach the TNLA and KIA for comment.
AFP journalists were stopped Saturday in China’s Yunnan province at a permanent police checkpoint about 50km up the valley from the border crossing of Chinshwehaw, which the Myanmar military said on Wednesday it had lost control over.
Chinese policemen said only people living beyond the checkpoint or others who had gained special authorisation could currently pass, due to recent security concerns about ongoing clashes occurring across the border.
“We’re now in special circumstances,” an officer told AFP. “Unless necessary, no one can go in.”
China called on Thursday for an immediate ceasefire in Shan state – part of a planned billion-dollar rail route in its Belt and Road infrastructure project.
Myanmar’s borderlands are home to more than a dozen ethnic armed groups, some of which have fought the military for decades over autonomy and control of lucrative resources.
There are also turf wars with pro-military aligned militia over criminal enterprises ranging from drug smuggling and casinos to prostitution and cyber scams.
Source: Channel News Asia