Monday, March 3, 2014
Burmese army soldiers under Hmawbi-based 77th Light Infantry Division (LID) on Sunday seized another Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) frontline post in northern Shan State. A high ranking KIA official said about 100 government’s 77th LID soldiers attacked and seized Loi Hkam Bum Post in Namtu Township currently guarded by Section 1 of the Kachin People Militia (MHH in Kachin) troops under KIA’s 34th Battalion at around 8:15 am. At least three Burmese army soldiers died in the battle that lasted for about 30 minutes. The KIA officer said no casualties on KIA’s side but its troops had to evacuate from Loi Hkam Bum Post because of the Burmese army’s advance. It is the fifth position in a row that KIA has lost in five weeks since January 31.
A combined force of Kachin People Militia (MHH) and Shan State Army (SSA) troops fought a fierce battle with about 100 troops from Burmese army’s 77th LID between Man Htat and Sam Ngam village in Kyauk Me-Namtu area in northern Shan State on February 28 at 11 am.
Burmese army has deployed additional troops from 35th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB), 18th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) and 389th Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) in Bu Lawng village, Shawng Wa village and Bu De Bum in KIA’s 2nd Brigade area in Kachin State’s north west region.
KIA frontline sources reported that troops from Pyay-based 66th Light Infantry Division (LID) have arrived in Nhkat Pa village located at the confluence of Hkama Hka and Mo Gaung Hka in KIA’s 11th Battalion area in western Kachin State from Monyin on March 1.
Reinforcing the Burmese army’s positions in Southeastern Kachin State, more troops from 15th LIB arrive in Ta Law Gyi – Nyaung Pin village and 382nd LIR arrive in Nam San Yang village during this week.
Despite word of pending nationwide ceasefire talks, more government troops and military hardware have been deployed in Kachin and northern Shan State. Burmese army has escalated its offensive operations against KIA and Ta-an National Liberation Army (TNLA) since the beginning of February by seizing one frontline post after another.