The regime has deployed hundreds of armed forces to two villages in Putao Township as part of a major offensive to wrestle control of the area in northern Kachin State from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Locals confirmed to KNG that about 300 soldiers from two Burma Army (BA) columns have been sent to Tan Ja and Lon Shar Yang since early April and are staying in people’s homes.
“The BA told us not to worry about our safety, but I think there will be clashes in our area soon because there are KIA troops stationed near Tan Ja,” a local from Lon Shar Yang, who asked not to be named, told KNG.
It appears the BA is planning to build a military camp near the two villagers, which it’ll use as a base for its attacks against the KIA and the People’s Defence Forces.
After a month-long lull in the fighting, some 5,000 villagers from Sumpyi Yang, Hpert Mar, Lon Shar Yang and N’se Yang who’d fled the violence thought they were safe and returned to their homes only a fortnight ago with the support of the Kachin Peace-talk Creation Group, the Kachin National Consultative Council and the Myitkyina Christian Council.
However, fighting resumed when a column from BA approached Tan Ja on 3 April. A resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, heard artillery fire two miles from his village, where 80 BA soldiers confronted the KIA.