Burmese army has launched a series of continuous offensives against KIA troops seizing two frontline posts in this week. Various local sources have reported continuous troops build-up in KIA’s 3rd and 5th Brigade areas.
A combined force of Burmese army’s 261st Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) and 423rd Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) attacked Kachin people militia (MHH in Kachin) troops led by Lieutenant Naw Ra and seized Hpung Maw Post on Feb 12 at 10:30 am. Hpung Maw Post is located in KIA’s 5th Brigade area which is home to KIO’s Laiza headquarter in south eastern Kachin State. A KIA source says MHH troops had to withdraw from Hpung Maw Post because of the heavy bombardment by government troops. At least 18 rounds of artillery shells were fired by Burmese army’s artillery unit based at Shadan Pa (Byuha Kone) on Wednesday. One Kachin soldier went missing during the fighting and his whereabouts is still unknown, said the KIA source.
On the same day, KIA troops stationed at Hka-U post withdrew from their post at around 10:30 am after facing an attack and surrounded by a large number of Burmese army troops. KIA sources say Burmese army continues heavy troops build-up and launched a series of attacks on KIA’s frontline posts with fewer soldiers in areas around Dagaw Manda, Ja Ing Yang and Hka-U village.
Local sources say that there have been signs of increased movements by Burmese army troops in areas close to Kachin administrative headquarter in recent days. Burmese army’s 318th LIR troops led by Major Hien Htet arrived at Jam Bu Bum yesterday. Local observers say continuous deployment of Infantry units and troops from 67th LIB, 236th LIB, 238th LIB, and 309th LIR in KIA’s 3rd and 5th Brigade territories heightens tension between KIA and Burmese army.
Meanwhile, an unknown number of villagers have been arrested and detained by government soldiers at a local monastery in Ja Ing Yang village. A heavy battle took place between Kachin people militia troops and a combined force of Burmese army’s 261st LIB and 421st LIR near Ja Ing Yang village on Feb 10.
Kachin, tribal peoples occupying parts of northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and contiguous areas ofIndia (Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland) and China (Yunnan). The greatest number of Kachin live in Myanmar (roughly 790,000), but some 150,000 live in China and a few thousand in India. Numbering about 1012,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a variety of languages of the Tibeto-Burman group and are thereby distinguished as Jinghpaw, or Jingpo (Chingpaw [Ching-p’o], Singhpo), Atsi, Maru (Longvo), Lachid, Nung (Rawang), and Lisu .
The traditional Kachin religion is a form of animistic ancestor cult entailing animalsacrifice. As a result of the arrival of American and European missionaries in Burma beginning in the late 19th century, a majority of the Kachin are Christian, mainly Baptist and Roman Catholic. Among the Kachin in India, Buddhism predominates.