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Myanmar Burma army shells KIA position on Myitkyina-Bhamo highway

September 19, 2013

kachin news group

The Burma army repeatedly shelled a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) mobile battalion located on the Myitkyina-Bhamo highway in eastern Kachin state on Sept. 14.

KIA officials told the Kachin News Group that several rounds of 105mm howitzer and 120mm mortar were launched from a government military base at Gangdau Yang, landing on the KIA base in Ja Hta. Sections of the highway were immediately shut down. The same Burma army battalion allegedly attacked the Ja Hta post in early September when the first UN aid convoy was sent to IDP camps in Laiza, according to KIA officials. Coincidentally, on Tuesday – days after the fighting – a second round of UN aid was delivered to displaced refugees.

Gangdau Yang is located between the government-controlled Myitkyina and the KIO headquarters of Laiza near to Burma army’s light infantry division 33. A KIA officer in Hpalap Bum – the location of a KIA mobile battalion headquarters – told KNG under condition of anonymity that the Burma army base in Gangdau Yang regularly launches artillery on KIA positions. Their aggressive maneuvers are increasing, bringing the frontline closer to KIA outposts based in the area. The KIA has not responded to Saturday’s attack, the officer said.

burma-army-lid-33-soldier-on-kambaiti-road

Clashes also occurred in Sumprabum and Chipwi townships on Saturday, according to KIA officials in Laiza.

Fighting also broke out in Manje Township (also known as Mansi) in Bhamo District (or Manmaw). The clash started after KIA battalion 12 soldiers surrounded a Burma army LIB 323 in southern Kachin state. The KIA claimed that the battalion intruded into their controlled territory near Nam Lim Pa on September 10.  Three government battalions – LIB 522, IB 69, IB 240 – were sent in to reinforce the fighting with KIA battalion 12 and 27 (KIA 3rd brigade).

The fighting stopped after KIA forces allowed the Burma Army troops to withdraw, ending a six day stand-off, according to Lamai Gum Ja, a member of Myitkyina-based Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG).

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