Yesterday saw fighting between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Tatmadaw troops in Burma’s northern Shan State.
A KIA officer told KNG that Burma Army LID-88 and LID-99 fought with Kachin soldiers at three sites in Muse District. The KIA ambushed several Tatmadaw military columns in Kyukok (Panghsai) sub-township, located in an area controlled by the Kachin ethnic armed organization’s (EAO) brigade-6.
“Burma Army columns are deployed everywhere in the area,” said the KIA officer, explaining the fighting between KIA battalion-36 erupted with LID-88 near Howa village and with LID-99 near Namtau and Phaikawng villages.
At the time of press, it was unclear if there were casualties from the clashes.
Col Nhpang Naw Bu, in charge of the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) information department, told KNG that fighting in northern Shan State did not spill over into Kachin State.
Since early this month, the Burma Army has been launching offensives aimed at driving out the various EAOs based in northern Shan State. Fighting has been reported with other members of the Northern Alliance, of which KIO/A is a member group.
Besides KIO/A, the Northern Alliance includes the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
Fighting between KIO/A and Burma Army restarted in June 2011, after the latter broke a 17-year ceasefire. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of January 31, there are 97,322 internally displaced persons living in 138 locations in Kachin State.