Burmese Army Continues Bombing Raids in Kachin

Burmese Army’s fighter jets on Tuesday have again launched bombing raids on KIA’s 27th Battalion positions at Du Hku and Mahtet.

2 K-8 fighter jets carried the first round of bombing at around 1:10 pm, the second round came at around 2:10 pm and the third round at 3:45 pm, dropping over 10 bombs on KIA positions.

Burmese Army’s 415th Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) currently based at Kai Htik fired at least 5 rounds of 120 mm artillery shells on KIA 1st Battalion’s position at Lai Law on Mar 24 at 11 am. KIA’s 1st Battalion troops returned fired with 60 mm shells to Burmese Army’s 415th LIR’s position at Kai Htik at around 1:30 pm.

On the same day, KIA’s 1st Battalion troops fought against a combined force of Burmese Army’s 319th and 521st LIRs at Madang Yang village and Lau Gung Hkaraw at around 10:50 am. KIA sources say the casualties were high on the government side but no exact number was available from either side.

KIA’s 12th Battalion troops battled Burmese Army’s 236th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) troops currently stationed at Mung Ding Pa school on Mar 24 at 3 pm.

In northern Shan State, KIA’s 9th Battalion troops fought Burmese Army’s 123rd LIB troops at Bang Kawng in Kutkai Township on Mar 24 at 10 am. Two Burmese Army soldiers died and 6 wounded in the battle lasted for about an hour, said KIA source.

Burmese Army launched attacks on KIA positions in southern Kachin State beginning last week under the pretext of stopping illegal logging activities despite the fact that peace negotiations are still in progress and ethnic leaders are in Yangon waiting for the next round of ceasefire talks.

KIO’s Technical Advisory Team spokesman Dau Hka said those illegal timbers that Burmese Army accused KIO of harboring came from Sagaing and Madalay Division, and illegal logging activities happened in Burmese government- controlled areas with full knowledge and involvement of government officials. Instead of banning the illegal logging and stopping convoy of lorries loaded with timbers, Burmese authorities let the convoy pass safely in its own controlled territory, said Dau Hka. Burmese Army took action and attacked KIA positions only when the convoy arrived in KIA-controlled areas saying that it pursued illegal timber traders crossing into China.

Battles continue to rage between Burmese Army and Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) in Momeik, Nam San, Kyauk Me and Nam Kham Township. The two sides encountered several times on Mar 24 and 25.