Guerrillas in the Mist

The dense mist swirls, then parts, revealing one man, then 10, then an entire platoon of guerrilla soldiers, all armed and battle-hardened. Their tattered fatigues are muddy and cover tattoos they believe will ward off cold and deflect enemy bullets. This apparition is part of the Shan State Army (S.S.A.), one of a handful of rebel outfits still fighting the Burmese government. The S.S.A.'s goal—an independent homeland for the Shan, Burma's second largest ethnic group—is all but impossible to achieve. But this is still rebel country, with steep, jungle-clad mountains and plunging ravines, where for years the S.S.A. has used hit-and-run...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!