Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kachin war rages on with no solution in sight


Burmese government forces launched several offensive attacks during the past week in Kachin and Northern Shan State amid a heavy death toll. Fighting continue unabated across Kachin and Northern Shan State despite Burmese government’s peace promises to international community. Almost all battles have taken place in KIO’s controlled areas and in some areas where government troops occupied Kachin territory after 1994 ceasefire agreement was reached between KIO and then SLORC.

A battle took place between KIA’s 2nd Battalion under 4th Brigade and Burmese army’s 290th LIR near Ta Mung Nye in Kutkai Township in Northern Shan State on Oct 12 at 10 am. 5 government soldiers were killed and 2 other injured with serious wounds, reported a KIA source.

KIA’s 2nd Battalion soldiers reportedly ambushed advancing Burmese government soldiers at Man Sa village while they were on their way from Mong Si to Man Sa. The fighting broke out as a Burmese army column invaded KIA’s controlled territory on Oct 12 at 1:30 pm.
On the same day, another battle took place at an area between Mung Yin and Man Sa village between KIA soldiers from 8th Battalion under 4th Brigade and an unknown Burmese army column. The fighting occured as a column of about 150 Burmese army soldiers travelled between Lashio and Ga Leng in Northern Shan State. A number of Kachin villages are located along the road. About 20 government soldiers were reportedly killed in this battle alone, said a KIA source.

Soldiers of KIA’s 15th Battalion under 3rd Brigade fought against Burmese army soldiers under 88th LID near Dum Bau hill on Oct 10. KIA’s 3rd Brigade is stationed at Maija Yang, second largest city under KIO controlled territory in Kachin State. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

A fierce battle took place at Hpakant, Lawng Hkang, an area controlled by KIA’s 6th Battalion under 2nd Brigade, on Oct 9 at 3 pm. KIA’s 6th Battalion soldiers encountered Burmese army soldiers from 228th LIR at Lawng Hkang, said a local frontline source. Burmese army reportedly fired several rounds of mortar (81mm) shells to residential areas. Some villagers were hit and injured by mortal shells, but no exact figure of casualties was reported.

KIA’s 24th Battalion under 5th Brigade had fought Burmese army’s 242nd LIR near Ding Ga Yang in Daw Hpum Yang township on Oct 9 at 11 am. Burmese army’s artillery unit under 367th LIB stationed at Hkang Kai hill aided ground troops by firing several rounds of mortar (120mm) shells to Hka La hill during the battle, reported KIA source.

KIA’s 38th Battalion under 4th Brigade engaged in a battlet against Burmese army’s 69th LIR near Nawng Heng in Mungkoe township in Northern Shan State on Oct 9, said a KIA source.

Officials of Burma’s quasi-civilian government backed by military often state that fighting still occurs in Kachin because of misunderstanding and close proximity between the two sides in frontline areas. But Kachin leaders said government troops invaded and stationed more infantry units in Kachin territory since a ceasefire agreement have been signed in 1994 and refused to withdraw despite repeated calls from KIO and local residents.

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