update kachin news 16.january
Meanwhile in the jade rich Hpakant region of Kachin state clashes broke out on Thursday the 15th of January, they followed an incident on Wednesday in which the Kachin transport minister, Kamann Du Naw was reportedly detained by KIA forces. According to state owned media a car carrying Kamann Du Naw that was on the road from Hpakant was stopped by KIA forces although the minister was eventually released three police officers who were travelling with him remain in detention.
The fighting in Hpakant began on Thursday in the early morning at around 6 am, according to Major Tang San from KIA Battalion 6. Major Tang San says that the clashes began after three battalions of Burma army stormed the KIA’s Battalion 6 camp in Aung Bali village. The army shot heavy artillery at the base more than 60 times.
“Fighting started since about 6 am this morning after about 300 troops (Burma Army) headed to Aung Bali village and we defended. They are using 81 mm and 105 mm artillery but mostly firing with 81 mm from the other side of Uru River. The 105 mm is coming from another camp,” the major said.
About 1,000 villagers including 200 students and 21 school teachers are trapped inside the village as the Burma army has blocked all the exists from the village. The army has also refused to allow Christian church leaders and residents from Hpakant city to enter the village to assist those who are trapped said Tsa Ji from the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG).
“They (Burma army) surrounded the village and there is artillery shelling there. They also have troops stationed all the way to Tang Hkawng village. No one comes in or out of the the village, so it is really bad situation for the villagers, students will lose their education,” said Tsa Ji.
The Fighting continued till around 2 pm. According to unconfirmed reports on social media the Burma army captured the village and the KIA Battalion 6 army camp later that day.
The three police officers who were travelling with the minister are expected to be released soon however their release has been complicated by the fighting, Major Tang San told the Kachinnews. Government officials including the office of Burma’s Ministry of Information have already indicated that they want those detained to be released immediately.
kachin soldiers under attack
january 15 morning, the Myanmar government under heavy artillery fire with, driving more than 300 local people to act as human shields for Dang Zidan walking in front of the troops
200 students 21 teachers and 700 villagers trapped in between shooting
State Hpakan Bangguo village 5 hours in the morning (15.1.2015)
Burma and KIA
200 students and 21 teachers
And 700 villagers
Been trapped between the shooting.
Villagers and village schools and temples
Hpakan Thousands of Burma along the way, according to sources.
If you want to know more about the following contact numbers above
Phone number – 09401538249 (G-Kachin Development Networking)
Phone number – 092 58734715 and local
Phone number – 094 7931014 and local
villagers fled monasteries. Motorcycles bicycles and children’s school is closed.
The map shows the villages where locals are being stranded in the clashes on January 15
About 2,000 locals remain trapped in the area where fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) broke out yesterday in Hpakant.
On Wednesday, KIA troops stopped the convoy carrying the Minister of Transport for Kachin State in Hpakant and arrested three police officers who were escorting the minister. The next morning, government and KIA troops clashed near the base of KIA Battalion No 6.
“The fighting began at 6am. They fired first using heavy artillery. Over 100 shells were fired. Now we are fighting at close range. We informed our headquarters. We heard that they are now talking with the border affairs minister,” said Major Daung San from KIA Battalion No 6.
The Daily Eleven was unable to contact the Myanmar Army Northern Command headquarters.
There are three villages located near the fighting area, where about 2,000 villagers live. There is a school for the children of refugees in Tan Gaung village.
“We heard that fighting is ongoing at Tan Gaung village. About 1,000 villagers live there,” said Sar Gyi from the Kachin Social Development Network.
The Kachin State government, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and the Peace-talk Creation Group (PCG) in Myitkyina are negotiating to resolve the conflict.
The fighting continued into the afternoon, and heavy artillery is still being fired. The KIA ordered its forces to retreat to prevent the villagers from being harmed, said Major Daung San yesterday.
“Our front line was in front of the village, so the village elders told us to move away from the village to prevent army shells from falling on them. We ordered our forces to retreat, but we haven’t received full information from the field yet,” he said.
Lamai Kunjar from the PCG said: “When the minister for transport went to check the road conditions in Hpakant, he met with a group of KIA soldiers. The KIA didn’t know them, and when they saw the weapons of the police officers, they arrested them. We already talked with the KIO about the arrest, and KIO said it instructed its forces to release the policemen. The fighting began as we were preparing for the release.”
“This morning, the KIO’s technical advisory team office told us they are preparing to release the three policemen,” Hla Maung Shwe from MPC confirmed.
A person close to the Kachin government and asked not to be named said: “The policemen was arrested at 10:30am. The KIA soldiers made the minister sit by the roadside, even though they knew he was a government minister. They fired gunshots to threaten him. The Kachin State government asked [the KIA] to release the policemen before the conflict escalated, pointing out that the minister was just conducting a regular check-up on road conditions. In my view, if the government troops hadn’t incited the KIA first, I assumed they would not have taken the policemen as hostages. I don’t want the conflict to get bigger and let the army drive out the KIA.”
Both sides have sustained casualties since renewed fighting broke out between the Myanmar government and the KIA in June 2011. More than 100,000 people are still living as IDPs in refugee camps in Kachin State because of the fighting.
Although the fighting slowed yesterday evening, some fighting is ongoing, said Major Daung San. eleven media