A couple on a motorcycle were shot dead by the Burma Army (BA) while fleeing fighting with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) about 10 miles from Putao town in northern Kachin State.
During an ambush on a BA camp, the KIA and People’s Defence Force (PDF) killed scores of junta soldiers when they raided their camp between Hpert Mar, from where the couple had fled, and Lon Shar Yang.
A relative requesting anonymity told the KNG that everyone was scared when they heard the light and heavy weapons fire. Ahkee Zee Per and Lee Ja Dwe, both 20, were shot in the back. They’d been married only two months earlier. “I think they killed them on purpose, it makes me so angry. The soldiers were staying two houses away and they knew they were ordinary civilians, but they killed them anyway,” he said.
The fighting, which began on Tuesday morning, was the third clash in Putao Township this month and the second in the immediate area. A week earlier, the KIA and the PDF attacked another camp, prompting the BA Infantry Battalion 46 to send soldiers to Hpert Mar, where the majority of residents are Lisu. The soldiers told them that they’d kill them if they tried to escape.
On 1 February, the BA attacked the KIA and the PDF with jet fighters after the Kachin fighters took their camp in Sumpyi Yang in Putao Township. Villagers expecting the same for Hpert Mar fled into the jungle.