Airstrikes Target KIA Positions, Timber Trucks, and Villages in Mansi

Burmese army’s fighter jets and helicopters pounded KIA’s 27th Battalion positions for two consecutive days. Two attack helicopters fired rockets today on a KIA position at Bum Chyang in Mansi Township at around 3 pm. Three civilian villages – Maji Kung Kaba, Bum Ja and Je Sawn -were hit by the airstrikes.

Two fighter jets made similar attacks against KIA’s 27th Battalion positions at Ulang Pa Hka Shang on May 17. Fighter jets also reportedly targeted trucks carrying logs at Bum Chyang and Je Sawn. Two timber trucks were hit and one Chinese national was killed.

The latest series of battles in Mansi Township began with an encounter between KIA’s 27th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 276th Light Infantry Battalion troops near Kadaw village, on the way between Balawng Dingsa and Maji Kung Kaji, on May 15 at 6:15 am. The two sides battled until noon and again in the afternoon at around 5 pm.

Early morning on May 16, Burmese army’s 276th LIB troops fired several 60 mm mortar rounds on KIA positions in Hka Shang and Balawng Dingsa area. At around 11:25 am, Burmese army’s 601st Light Infantry Regiment troops fired 120 mm mortar rounds on Pali Bum and Njung Bum from Kai Htik. A battle took place between KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 276th LIB troops on the same day at around 4:20 pm. No information on exact number of casualties is available from either side.

On May 17, KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 601st Light Infantry Regiment troops fought three times at Ulang Pa Hka Shang beginning 6:20 am.

Arrival of more troops under Bhamo-based 21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21) in Mansi Township during the end of April and the beginning of May raised tension between KIA and Burmese army, said a KIA officer. He said a number of skirmishes took place between the two sides.

KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 276th Light Infantry Regiment troops fought near Pang Hka village in Mansi Township on April 18. The two sides encountered in two skirmishes on that same day.

A battle took place between KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and a combined force of Burmese army troops from 15th and 88th Light Infantry Battalions at Nam Hkyik Zup on May 1 at 3:30 pm.

On May 6, KIA’s 12th Battalion troops fought an unknown Burmese army unit at Dung Hkung Pa at around 11:15 am.

KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 15th and 88th LIBs troops battled at Loi Seng on May 7 at 6:40 am.

According to KIA’s 12th and 27th Battalion officers, more Burmese army troops from 437th LIR and 521st LIR arrived at the Kawng Ja – Si Kaw junction, 15th LIB troops at Tung Kwa and Je Hkam, 237th LIB and 276th LIB troops at Loi An Bum and Bum Krin Bumt, 438th LIR troops at Kai Htik, 15th LIR and 512th LIR troops at Nam Hkan village, 237th LIB at Shawng Htawk, and 601st LIR troops at Mana Hkyet.