Burmese Army increases its use of airstrikes in Kachin war

Burmese Army’s Russian-made Mi-24 assault helicopter has fired rockets on Jik Loi village and Rit Pan village on May 14 at 5 pm. At least one civilian house in Jik Loi and one house in Rit Pan have been damaged by rockets fired from a large helicopter gunship, said local villagers. Two cows have been killed in this attack. Frontline sources reported that they see surveillance helicopters flying in circular pattern almost daily over KIA’s 5th Brigade territory.

Helicopters have been used in the past to transport foods and troops to frontline areas in Kachin war but they are now used in combat and to assist ground attacks in several areas, said a frontline source. Burmese Army has escalated the level of Kachin war by deploying more ground troops and increasing the use of its air power in recent weeks.

Heavy battles continue raging across Kachinland between Kachin Independent Army and Burmese Army. KIA’s 10th Battalion under 1st Brigade has fought against Burmese Army’s 382nd LIR between Hpare village and Wa Chyawn village on May 14 at 8 am. KIA sources say 10 Burmese Army soldiers were killed in this battle.

On May 13, a fierce battle took place between KIA’s 19th Battalion under 5th Brigade and Burmese Army’s 276th LIB at former KIA’s Pan Tsun post. About 10 Burmese government soldiers were wounded in this battle, said KIA source.

Another battle took place at Zi Kahtawng village in Namsan Yang between KIA’s 18th Battalion under 5th Brigade and Burmese Army’s 390th LIR on May 13. On the same day, KIA’s 255th Mobile Battalion has deterred advancing Burmese Army troops of 260th LIB near a prayer mountain in Npawn village.

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