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'Walking the revolutionary path': Myanmar ethnic minority fighters seize town

NAMHSAN: Pickup trucks carrying ethnic minority fighters rolled into a town in Myanmar’s northeastern Shan state recently cleared of junta troops – another victory redrawing the frontlines of the country’s civil war.

The convoy passed the golden spire of a Buddhist pagoda in Namhsan but most eyes were scanning the skies for the attack jets the junta is using to support its embattled ground troops.

The men jumped down from the vehicles and fanned out on foot past locked wooden houses and down deserted streets silenced by days of fighting.

A burst of gunfire revealed a pocket of junta troops on the edge of the town and sent the fighters scuttling for cover behind walls.

Nestled in the hills of northern Shan state, Namhsan is the latest town to fall to Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) fighters since they launched a surprise offensive against Myanmar’s junta in October.

The TNLA announced it had captured Namhsan last Saturday (Dec 16).

Footage obtained by AFP shows the fighters in the last stages of their operation to secure the town last week.

On the road to Namhsan hours before the TNLA moved in, its spokesman Tar Aik Kyaw said his fighters were “walking the revolutionary path”.

“The main objective is to take down the military dictatorship, which is what Myanmar people always want.”

Nearby, a squad of fighters in camouflage fatigues and peaked caps with badges showing the TNLA emblem set against a blue sky unloaded crates of mortars for a final check before heading into battle.

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