KIA officers in Laiza headquarters confirmed that five Burmese Army soldiers were killed in the morning’s clash while 12 soldiers were killed in the afternoon skirmishes, which began at 1:30 p.m. local time.
Several Burmese soldiers were injured in the clashes, added KIA officers. No casualty has been reported from the KIA side.
The Burmese troops from the Sinbo-based Infantry Battalion No. 141 and KIA’s Battalion 5 were involved in the clashes, said KIA officers.
The Burmese troops are based near the KIA battalion. However it moved a mile away from the KIA battalion after May 25.
The civil war snowballed after government troops mounted an offensive on the KIA’s Battalion 15 in Sang Gang near Taping River in N’mawk (Momauk) township in Manmaw (Bhamo) district on June 9.
Over 10,000 refugees have fled to the China border from four different areas— Laiza, Maijayang, Loije and Ura Bum, according to Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)’s civil administration department.
Most refugees are from the government controlled areas and they are fleeing to the China border for fear of being used as porters by the Burmese Army, according to refugees in Laiza.
The KIO has opened six refugee camps at Laiza and basic food and shelter are being provided by the KIO.
The fighting is continuing for the ninth day between KIA and government troops in Kachin State and Northern Shan State.