Battles Rage On in Kachin and Northern Shan States

Burmese army’s Operation Ye Man Aung in areas surrounding KIA’s administrative region has left over 2,000 Burmese army soldiers along with several hundreds of B.G.F and local militia troops.

On July 18 in KIA’s 10th Battalion territory, the B.G.F troops warned KIA troops and civilians to not enter areas east of Bashe. More than 2,000 troops belonging to approximately 10 Battalions along with their auxiliary B.G.F and local militia troops have been dispatched in KIA’s 1st and 7th Divisions area as well.

On July 16 at around 9:24 a.m. in KIA’s 11th Battalion territory, about 20 Burmese army troops out of approximately 50 troops belonging to Tactical Command Force (3) were ambushed by MHH (Kachin Civilian Unit) between Maran Kahtawng and Dum Bung.

Again on July 16 at around 4:10 p.m., approximately 150 Burmese troops belonging to 381st and 384th LIR advancing south in six military trucks were ambushed by KIA’s 11th Battalion troops near Ting Rat. Some casualties were reported among the Burmese troops.

On July 16 at around 4:30 p.m. in KIA’s 20th Battalion territory, approximately 50 Na Yang Pa-based Burmese army troops belonging to 235th LIB suddenly appeared south of Lawa village, forcibly collected rice from villagers and swiftly left for Nga Leng route. The next day on July 17 at around 10:00 a.m., approximately 30-men strong Burmese army troops took position of the Catholic Prayer Hill in Lawa setting up artillery with what is believed to be 60 mm guns.

On July 17 at around 4:30 p.m., a Burmese army fighter with red wings was sighted twice hovering over Gau Ri Bum in KIA’s 20th Battalion territory.

On July 16 at around 6:30 a.m, approximately 80-men strong Dum Bung-based Burmese army troops abducted Mr Lashi Aung of Dum Bung to act as a guide while patrolling along Ting Rat and Loi Li rivers. Mr Lashi Aung was hit several times in the head and was later released at around 3:50 p.m.

On July 16 at around 6:00 p.m. in KIA’s 11th Battalion territory, one of the three 60 mm rounds fired towards Dum Bung village by Burmese army troops belonging to 37th LIB hit Mr Aung Soe’s house, where several Burmese army troops were staying at. One Burmese soldier was dead while Mr Aung Soe’s house was badly damaged.

On the same day at around 9:30 p.m., the Maran Kahtawng-based Burmese army troops tortured driver Maung Win after refusing to pay the extortion fees of 200,000 kyats. The KLN has learnt that Mr Maung Win’s left arm is broken from the reckless beating.

On July 17 in KIA’s 6th Battalion territory, fighting reportedly broke out among the 30-men strong Burmese army troops guarding the highway between Mu Gawng 8-9 Mile. Firefights were exchanged between a Burmese army corporal and a private over the disagreement on distribution of money extorted from travellers. The corporal was reportedly wounded in the head while the private died from the gunshot.

On July 22 between 9:20 a.m.- 9:3- a.m. in KIA’s 1st Battalion territory in front of Great Teahouse in Nmawk town, a remote bomb planted inside a motorcycle exploded and killed Lagai Naw San while two civilians were severely wounded. Lagai Naw San was the second son of Usa Lagai Tang Lai, a commander from Burmese army-backed Kachin Defence Army (K.D.A), formerly 4th Brigade of the KIA. The deceased Lagai Naw San was known to have worked hand-in-hand with Burmese police doing business in Nmawk area bullying and intimidating local Shan civilians. The KLN has learnt that Zaw Win Naing, member of the Burmese army Special Bureau Investigation, picked up the shotgun at the scene of the bombing.

On July 15 at around 4:00 p.m. in KIA’s 2nd Battalion territory, approximately 50-men strong Mungji-based Burmese army troops belonging to 368th LIR reached Hu Et, while approximately 100-men strong Burmese army troops from an unknown unit left for Ta Mung Nye from their Hkye Sai base at around 3:30 p.m.

On July 14 in KIA’s 8th Battalion territory, the Mung Wi, Bang Hang-based approximately 100-men strong Burmese army troops belonging to 88th LID which left early in the morning reached Jin Wi at around 4:00 p.m while Bang Nyu-based approximately 200-men strong Burmese army troops had reached Man San Sun Oi.

On July 16 at around 6:00 p.m. in KIA’s 9th Battalion territory in Kuthkai, Mr Lahtaw Brang Li of Ward 6 on his way to the market to buy rice was abducted in broad daylight taken away blindfolded by Burmese army troops belonging to 45th LIB. After severely beating him for no apparent reason and robbing 25,000 Kyats from the victim, the Burmese troops dropped Mr Lahtaw Brang Li off in front of Mung Wun Hall in Ward 5. The KLN has learnt that Mr Lahtaw Brang Li has been receiving treatment at home for his injuries.

On July 19 at around 12:20 p.m. in Pang Lung Ward 1 in Muse, machinery, equipments and chemicals used in narcotics production and several types of drugs were reportedly seized by the police. The KLN has learnt that this is by far the biggest drug bust to date in Burma in 2017.

On July 22 in KIA’s 8th Battalion territory, Mr Abela, travelling from Bang Kani to Man Mun for business was abducted by Burmese army 33rd LID troops. The major of 33rd LID refused to admit the abduction stating the soldiers under his care had taken no such person when Mung Wi village elders went to Burmese army base to find out Mr Abela’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile in northern Shan State, clashes continue between Ta’ang National LIberation Army(TNLA) and Burmese army troops. On July 16 at around 3:30 p.m., TNLA troops belonging to 181st Battalion engaged an unknown Burmese army unit in Lau Si Htang.

On July 20 at around 11:30 a.m. in Mai Ngaw, combined Burmese army troops belonging to 114th, 115th, and 116th LIR fought TNLA’s 2nd Brigade troops. Another battle took place between the opposing troops on the same day between 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. next to Bang Gu.

The TNLA has dispatched their 3rd Brigade troops in areas surrounding Man Ping, Pan Dang, Man Seng, Man Jawp, Mang Dung and Namtu to face mounting offensives by Burmese army troops.

A series of battles took place in Hkam Tin, Nawng Ga, Hu Na and Kawng La between TNLA and Burmese army troops on July 20. After suffering significant casualties as usual, Burmese army troops began recklessly beating and torturing innocent civilians. A total of 269 civilians from 86 villages have just turned IDPs due to the recent clashes.

Meanwhile on July 14 in KIA’s 34th Battalion territory, approximately 100-men strong RCSS/SSA troops advancing from Daw Sang set up camps at Mang Kung and Kung Sa villages and began operating in surrounding areas.