Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kachin face air strikes as Burmese government’s deadline passes


Burmese government airstrikes rain down on KIA frontline posts near Kachin administrative capital Laiza on Dec 28. Two attack helicopters first came at around 9:30 am and then another three helicopters came, said a Laiza resident. Russian-made attack helicopters fired rockets and machine guns on KIA positions near Laiza. A Laiza resident says the latest round of airstrikes is so close to civilians’ areas as he can even see helicopters firing machine guns. The impact of the rocket is so strong that even a tree that has a person’s waist size falls down after being hit, said a KIA frontline officer.

KIA sources say there are about 1200 government soldiers closing in to Laiza areas by opening three fronts. Burmese army approached KIA positions from Shadan pa’s orange field, Myitkyina-Laiza route through Gangdau-yang and Bhamo-Laiza route through Dawhpum-yang. About 500 government soldiers have already been transported to Na Lung and a convoy of Burmese military trucks full of foot soldiers and road-building machineries have been sent to Kachin frontline from Mali and Dabak. More ground troops and military equipment were sent to an orange field near Shadan Pa, Gangdau-yang, Laja-yang, Laimawk-yang and Dung Hkung village both by air and land route.
With troop escalation on the ground and increased airstrikes, Burmese army has begun another major offensive on KIA. Fighting in KIA’s 5th brigade area and government’s airstrikes escalated after government’s northern commander Brig-Gen Tun Tun Naung issued an ultimatum to withdraw KIA troops from the route to Laja-yang by Christmas day.

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