A combined force of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and People’s Defense Force (PDF) attacked approximately 100 Burma army soldiers staying in Semulay village at 6am on 30 March. The Burma army suffered many causalities, and retaliated the same day by launching airstrikes on Semulay and Mang Weing in eastern Shwegu Township in Kachin State.
A female resident of Shwegu town said, “A jet fighter bombed Mang Weing and Semulay around noon today. I don’t know how many bombs they dropped on the two villages. Many houses in Semulay were burned down by the airstrikes. I don’t know any details about the situation in Mang Weing because it is far from my location,” she told KNG.
Following the air attack on Semulay, Burma army ground troops burned down additional houses in the village. Locals reported that they are unable to return home, and do not know the total number of houses that have been burnt down. Before the airstrikes, there were more than 200 houses in Semulay and more than 300 houses in Mang Weing.
“People have already fled from their villages. Nobody is left there now. Many houses were burned by the airstrike…At the moment the regime’s soldiers are staying in the village, so villagers are unable to return to their homes,” the woman told KNG.
Semulay, Sethaung and Mang Weing had previously been hit with airstrikes in the late afternoon on 25 March. During those jet fighter attacks, some civilian houses were burned and at least five cattle were killed.
Three military columns of Burma army soldiers have been patrolling in eastern Shwegu Township since around 23 March. Since the military columns arrived in the township, there have been at least five clashes between the Burma army and combined forces of the KIA and PDF. Locals reported that thousands of people have been displaced by these clashes.