On January 1st, 2024, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army began a major military advance on the city center of Laukkai in the Shan State.
Laukkai is the capital of Kokang Self-Administered Zone in the northern part of Shan State, Myanmar.
Once a beautiful and a prosperous city has now been in ruins because of the inhumane and cruel air strikes of Myanmar junta regime. After constant air strikes of the junta regimes for weeks, the Laukkai city – the capital of Self-Administered Kokang territory in northern Shan… pic.twitter.com/pzagxOgPzq
— Chindwin News Agency (@TheChindwin) January 1, 2024
The battle for the city has been raging for the past three days, with junta artillery rounds landing across the border in China, extracting a political complaint from Beijing. On January 1st, eleven civilians were killed by a Myanmar junta airstrike, including six Chinese nationals.
The fighting broke about one hour ago when local militia and government sources told press and social media outlets that the Myanmar Military Laukkai Regional Operations Command (the military leadership of the autonomous region) was to surrender to the rebel alliance.
Khit Thit, an independent Myanmar news company reported this at approximately 1900 EST today:
”The military headquarters of Lauk Kain Regional Administration (DAKSA), which has gathered hundreds of military forces in Laukain city, northern Shan State, surrendered to the Koikant MNDAA on the night of January 4, and asked for permission to travel…”
They reported that these troops are evacuating to Lashio, 120miles southwest, with their families and a percentage of their military equipment. Although not all of the thousands of 155mm shells, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and other military supplies will be able to be taken out with them. Chinese social media accounts claimed that three of the fighting formations of the junta forces lacked significant ammunition to carry on a prolonged fight with the rebels.
This is the most significant junta loss since they took power nearly three years ago.