Battles Resume in Northern Shan State


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

KIA troops passing through a village (Photo: Namhkai Hka)
KIA troops passing through a village (Photo: Namhkai Hka)

After a period of relative calm in Kachin and northern Shan State, fighting resumes on Monday in KIA-controlled area in northern Shan State.

A series of battles took place between KIA’s 34th Battalion troops and an unknown Burmese army column at Man Yan and Man Hkang area in Momeik Township, northern Shan State on Monday at 7:50 am and once again at 1 pm.

A tense standoff occurred between Kawng Hka militia troops (Kawng Kha Pyi Thu Tsit) and Pan Se militia troops (Pan Se Pyi Thu Tsit) near Old Man Mau village in northern Shan State on Tuesday at 4 pm.  About 17 Pan Se militia troops led by Kyang Koi Hkying allegedly fired randomly into a roadside gate near Old Man Mau village where seven Kawng Hka  soldiers stop trucks and collect money from traders. Both Kawng Hka militia and Pan Se militia group are backed by Burmese army in fight against other ethnic armed groups.

According to a source familiar with Burmese army’s troop movements, infantry units are commanded by their superiors to launch ground operations to combat illegal logging while expanding their foothold in southern Kachin State. The source said Burmese army’s frontline battalions commanders are warned against contact with KIA troops despite ongoing peace talks between ethnic armed groups and Burmese government.