Kachin IDP Camps Overcrowded as Fighting Intensifies

On January 18 approximately from 6:00 a.m., Burmese army artillery units from their Nam Lim Pa and Man Dat bases incessantly pounded KIA’s Saga, Hka Len outposts and the headquarters of 12th Battalion under 5th Brigade.

Simultaneously, Burmese army ground troops advancing in force in 5 columns attacked defending KIA troops, a frontline KLN source reported.

The previous day on January 17, the same Burmese army artillery units based at Maji Gung Kaji and Man Dat indiscriminately shelled KIA’s 12th Battalion headquarters. Following the heavy artillery fire, a pair of Burmese army fighter jets reportedly carried out airstrikes approximately at 3:30 p.m., and again at 3:40 p.m.

Heavy clashes occurring in areas surrounding KIA’s 12 Battalion headquarters have prompted local civilians to take shelter at Mung Hkawng and KBC’s Man Je IDP camps.

Burmese army’s heavy offensives using significant manpower and fighter jets from January 13 – January 17 have brought increasing numbers of IDPs fleeing to nearby camps resulting in supply shortages, one of the camp directors reported KLN.

The IDPs have moved into three camps from where the battles are taking place , one inside Man Je and two more in Mung Hkawng, the KLN has learned.