Over 150 Burma Army soldiers have died during the government’s six day storm-offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Burma’s Northeast Shan State, witnesses said.
The number of dead government troops was counted at the battle fields in the area of KIA’s Battalion 8, under Brigade 4, in Mandong sub-township, in northern Shan State, since the government’s fierce offensive started on Sept. 24, according to local civilians who were forcibly taken as military porters by government troops.
The KIA officers and porters who escaped from the battle field said the casualties are from the government’s Magway-based Light Infantry Division No. 99.
The fighting has been between the KIA’s battalion 8 and government troops under Northern Regional Military Command, based in Lashio, and two Light Infantry Divisions from outside Shan State— Magway-based LID No. 99 and Ywataung-based LID No. 33, according to KIA officers.
Five KIA soldiers were also killed early in the week, confirmed KIA officers.
The Loikang-based KIA 4th Brigade Command, with three of five battalions— No. 2, No. 9 and No. 29, fell under the government’s control during the offensive in Shan State.
Several hundred Burmese troops from LID No. 99, LID No. 88 and new reinforcements are taking position near the base of KIA Battalion 17, which formerly secured Loikang 4th Brigade Command, said witnesses.
Meanwhile, thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to flee from the fighting. Many are hiding in the jungle, where they face a lack of food, shelter and healthcare, sources close to IDPs said. kng news