KIA Troops Resist Mounting Burma Army Offensives

Intensifying clashes between KIA and Burmese troops have spread to all eight KIA bridges in Kachin and northern Shan states. A large number of Burmese army troops have been conducting offensives aided by Red Shan and Lisu local militia troops especially in KIA’s 2nd and 6th Brigade territories. The recent offensives have been dubbed by locals and Burma watchers alike as ‘the resource war’ as the Burmese army attempts to curb KIA’s control over Danai region, a region where gold and amber are being excessively mined.

On June 4 at around 4 a.m., KIA troops belonging to 2nd Brigade stealthily approached a Burmese army unit based at north of Kawng Ra village along Yuzana road and fired 4 rounds of 60 mm at the enemy. In retaliation as usual, the Burmese army troops fired back 3 rounds of 60 mm towards civilians at Kawng Ra. As a result, village resident Lanawng Kaw Ja’s (age 56) nose, Ms. Nbwi Lu’s(age 19) left shoulder and right arm, Ms. Nbwi Roi’s (age 17) legs were hit by shrapnels. Additionally, two cows belonging to Mr. Nhkum Bawk Di were also killed by this wanton act.

On June 5 at around 10:20 p.m., two small cars and a motorcycle transporting several Burmese troops believed to be coming from Mai Sak outpost were ambushed by KIA troops in a forest near Kawng Ra. According to a KIA frontline report, three Burmese army soldiers got badly injured during the attack and were reportedly transported to Danai town.

Approximately 40 Burmese army troops belonging to 37th Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) based at Wara Zup, which left for KIA’s 6th Brigade territory on June 4 were reportedly spotted trekking along Nam Sai Hka at around 10:00 a.m. by KIA’s point men. Meanwhile, Burmese army continues deploying more troops to Danai region to face KIA’s 14th Battalion and its MHH (Kachin civilian forces) troops.

On June 6, a Burmese army jet fighter coming from Myitkyina reportedly hovered over KIA’s 4th Battalion headquarters for a few minutes before returning to its base. The previous day on June 5, a Chinese fighter also reportedly flew over KIA’s 7th Brigade headquarters. Over 800 Burmese army troops belonging to 15th, 46th, 74th, 137th, 138th, 141st, and 260th LIB have been deployed to KIA’s 1st and 7th Brigade territories.

Amber and gold miners (now IDPs) in Danai region leaving from Nam Byu and Pat Maw mines are reportedly being stopped and interrogated by Burmese police assisted by local Lisu militia troops at Danai river harbor. Currently IDPs from several villages surrounding Danai town are taking refuge at Danai Baptist and Catholic church compounds. A total of 2,539 IDPs have been taking shelter at churches and relatives’ homes: 890 from Nam Hkam (365 males/ 525 females), 525 from Nam Gawn (209 males/316 females), 956 from Noi Je Bum (431 males/525 females), 158 from Lapu Hka (96 males/62 females) and 10 from Du Mare (4 males/6 females), the KLN has learnt. Meanwhile, Mr. Tan Tun (age 36) from Kawng Ra, an Arakan national and his two friends who went fishing on June 7 morning were forcibly taken to the Burmese army base by its 238th LIB troops, after ruthlessly torturing them accusing them of KIA spies.

So far, over 600 Burmese army troops belonging to 37th, 126th, 297th, 238th LIB and 318th Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) along with their auxiliary Lisu local militia troops have been deployed at Mai Sak outpost and N-ga Ga. Simultaneously, the Burmese army keeps sending more troops to KIA’s 1st, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th Brigade territories. Clashes continue to occur almost every day between the two opposing armies across Kachin and northern Shan states, the KLN source reported.