Mortar Shell Fell Near Church and Homes, Civilians Injured by Landmines

Photo: A mortar shell fell in Tingkawk village

On Jan 21, Burmese army troops fired several mortar rounds on Tingkawk village, located on Ledo road between Myitkyina and Danai in western Kachin state, following a battle with KIA troops.  A mortar shell fell in front of Tingkawk church and another shell fell at Tingkawk primary school on Jan 21.

Tingkawk villagers have been fleeing their homes since the battle began early this week. Over 100 villagers have been taking refuge in Tingkawk church despite mortar shells falling in front of the church. There are about 2000 villagers in Tingkawk.

Four civilians, two Mung Hkawm villagers and two from Danai, who were commuting to work in an amber mine were injured by a landmine at a location between Mung Hkawm village and Htang Bra village on Jan 20. Local sources said Burmese army troops planted the landmines to discourage locals from working in amber mines. Similarly, a 25-year-old man from Danai stepped on a landmine as he was walking by a pond located near Burmese army’s 86th LIB base on Jan 20 at 10 am.

In Sumprabum Township, over 20 mortar shells fired by Burmese army fell in Nhtan Zup village on Jan 22. Nhtan Zup villagers, nearby Sut Mai Yang villagers and IDPs from Ndup Yang Camp have been fleeing their homes to escape relentless mortar strikes. Local sources said all schools are closed and there are no village activities as villagers fled for their own lives.

Beginning Jan 18, a combined force of Burmese army troops from 46th and 138th Light Infantry Battalions launched attack on Lawt Mai Yang village, a village under KIO administration in Sumprabum Township. Following the initial attack, Burmese army troops fired several mortar rounds on civilian homes in Lawt Mai Yang and surrounding villages. Multiple civilian homes in Nhtan Zup village, Sut Mai Yang village and Ndup Yang IDP Camp were hit by mortar shells. A mortar shell fell near Ndup Yang IDP Camp’s day care center.

Meanwhile, battles continue to rage between KIA and Burmese army troops in Sumprabum, Danai and Hpakant Township.

KIA’s 14th Battalion troops and a combined force of Burmese army’s 298th LIB and Nawng Mi Pyithutsits fought a battle at a location between Awng Ra village and Yuzana’s Bangkok site in Danai Township  on Jan 22 at 9 pm.