New Year Begins With Renewed Battles in Kachin and Northern Shan States

Photo: Burmese Army Soldiers

Renewed civil war between the Kachin Independence Army and Burmese Army that began in June 2011 continues to drag on across Kachin and northern Shan states in 2018 as the sound of New Year’s celebrations often mixed with the sound of guns and artillery fire.

On New Year’s Eve, KIA’s 14th Battalion troops fought a Burmese army unit currently based at Baluk Nawng in Danai Township at around 7:40 pm.

A battle took place between KIA’s 20th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 255th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) soldiers at Shin Bum village in Ka-maing on Dec 31 at 3:45 pm. A KIA frontline source said its troops launched an attack against about 40 soldiers from Burmese army’s 255th LIB as they advanced into Shin Bum village from Hka Rung village.

Similarly, KIA’s 27th Battalion troops and a Burmese army unit fought a battle at Man Dat junction in Mansi Township on Dec 31 between 12:08 pm and 3:15 pm.  On that same New Year’s Eve, different sections from KIA’s 27th Battalion engaged in a series of battles against Burmese Army at Lung Ja Nhkang and Maw Swi in Mansi Township.

On New Year’s Day, Kachin civilian forces under KIA’s 14th Battalion and a Burmese army unit encountered at Mana Zup in Mogaung Township at around 4:30 pm. KIA sources said Burmese army troops currently based at Nawng Lung Kawng Ra fired multiple automatic rifles rounds on surrounding areas on Jan 1 at 5:10 pm. Nawng Mi-based Burmese army troops fired 20 artillery rounds on KIA position at Ting Kawk Bum on the same day at 4:30 pm.

On Jan 2, KIA’s 27th Battalion troops and a Burmese army unit battled at Loi Jau Bum in Mansi Township at around 5 pm.

In western Kachin state, Burmese army troops based at Ting Kawk fired 7 artillery rounds, N-ga Ga-based 86th LIB troops fired 2 artillery rounds, Nam Hpyek Hka-based and Nam Byu Hka Zup Wa Sang Pa-based troops fired 7 artillery rounds on KIA’s 14th Battalion positions on Jan 2. Burmese army’s 298th LIB troops fired 5 artillery rounds on KIA’s 20th Battalion’s Wa Ra Labawk on the same day.

Local sources reported that Tangbau Yaw Htung of Ma U Pin village was killed by an artillery shell fell at Nam Ya creekside near Nam Kai village in Hpakant Township. The artillery shell was reportedly fired by a combined force of Burmese army’s 252nd LIB, 256th LIB, and Nam Ya Pyithutsits on Jan 2 at 3 am.

On Jan 3, KIA’s 14th Battalion troops and a Burmese army unit encountered at Oi Law in Danai Township at around 11 am. Burmese army troops currently based at Mung Hkawm and N-ga Ga supported its infantry unit with several artillery rounds during the battle, reported KIA sources. Burmese army troops currently based at Ban Kawk factory fire 5 artillery rounds on Awng Ra village and Nban Hka-based troops fired an artillery round on KIA’s 14th Battalion position near Hka U Yup on the same day.

On Jan 4, Kachin civilian forces under KIA’s 27th Battalion and a Burmese army unit battled at Hkrai Nga Kawng in Mansi Township at around 10:20 am.

Burmese army troops currently based at Hka U Yup fired 4 artillery rounds on Lapu Hka Ja Maw, N-ga Ga-based troops fired 4 artillery rounds on Oi Law and Kai Htau Pa-based troops fired three 81 mm mortar rounds on KIA’s 14th Battalion positions at Nam Gawn Zup on Jan 4.

On the same day, KIA’s 8th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 241st LIB troops engaged in a battle at Hpun Kya hill in Kutkai Township in northern Shan state at around 4:35 pm. The two sides again encountered the following day, reported KIA frontline sources.

On Jan 5, two Burmese military jets dropped bombs on KIA’s 27th Battalion position at Maji Gung Kaba in Mansi Township at 2:12 pm.

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