Ongoing clashes between the military and Kachin resistance forces have displaced many villagers in eastern Shwegu Township, Kachin State.
After the regime sent 200 of its soldiers to Mang Weing and Nawng Latt Gyi villages a week ago, there were three clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the People’s Defence Force (PDF).
A woman who spoke confidentially to the KNG said that residents of eight villages are hiding in the jungle and cannot return to their homes.
“Clashes broke out the same day the Burma army entered the villages,” she said, expecting fighting to continue until the regime soldiers, who are sleeping in the people’s homes, retreat from the area.
Over 1,000 people from Semulay, Mang Weing, Nawng Latt Gyi, Nget Tantar, Setha, Sethaw, Nam Lang and Winwa villages have been affected by the violence, which started after three columns of the 77 Light Infantry Division were sent to patrol the township.
The first clash occurred at Nget Tantar near a bridge at around 7 am on 23 March and fighting broke out near Nawng Latt Gyi at 6 am the next day. According to locals, at least three government soldiers were killed and many wounded in the latter village.
On 25 March, the regime sent two fighter jets to attack Semulay, damaging homes and killing livestock, a man affiliated with the KIA said on condition of anonymity.
“Two PDF soldiers were wounded in the clash but I don’t know how many Burma army soldiers were killed because I can’t go near the village.”
He said fierce fighting took place between 3am and 6pm. On the same day, airstrikes were also flown on Sethaw and Mang Weing.
On 27 March, the PDF advised civilians to stay away from where the fighting was happening in the township.
The regime is accessing water and land routes in the township and frequently clashes with the Kachin resistance groups that are fighting to overthrow the military regime.