A fierce clash between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) Battalion 34 and Burmese military on July 17 has resulted in 8 government soldiers being killed and twenty injured, according to KIA sources.
The fighting which happened at approximately between 7 to 9 am at Man Jak on Nam San Bum mountain in KIA Brigade 4 controlled territories in northern Shan State, involved over a hundred of Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalions 521 and 512, and Infantry Battalions 114 and 116. The government soldiers were conducting an offensive against KIA Battalion 34.
There were no KIA casualties an officer told the Kachin News Group. The fighting happened after Burmese soldiers were seen advancing into KIA territory.
“We met them on the road when the fighting started. God was protecting our soldiers, ensuring no one from our side died,” the KIA officer said.
At the same time only 30 minutes away, the KIA and Burmese military were fighting at KIA’s Bum Sawn post.
According to the Kareng Naw Awng, a Laiza governor, there are no confirmed casualties from either side as of yet.
KIO Joint Secretary-2 Officer Lah Nan said recently there has been many battles with Burmese soldiers in KIA-controlled territories.
On July 15, KIA’s Brigade 4 fought with Burmese Battalion 99 at Man Mau near Munggo, or Mongkoe in northern Shan State.
Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) leaders have met with the government peace team several times in the last several months but have been unable to see eye to eye on several key points.
The KIO have reportedly rejected an invitation to meet with the government peace team in Bhamo (also known as Manmaw) or Muse.