Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Kachin civilian killed, three injured in mortar attack

Thursday, 27 December 2012 18:37 Phanida

One Kachin villager was killed and three were injured by mortar fire in the town of Mankwi when the village, which acts as a military base for the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), came under fire on Thursday morning from Burmese government forces based on the nearby Hkan Gai Bum Mountain.

A Kachin refugee, injured in a mortar attack by Burmese government forces, receives treatment in Laiza Hospital on Thursday. (PHOTO: courtesy of Eedy News)

The two men and two women were identified as local villagers who had been sheltering at a refugee camp in Laiza, but who had returned to Mankwi to attend to their house and watermelon garden. They were reportedly working in their garden when hit by the artillery fire. One of the men was instantly killed.

“They had returned from Je Yang refugee camp [in Laiza] to their home to attend to their garden,” said a KIA health official, speaking to Mizzima on Thursday. “The man was hit directly by a shell.”

The other three Kachin refugees were hit by shrapnel on their abdomens and legs, and were taken to Laiza Hospital for treatment.

The KIA and the Burmese forces exchanged fire all morning until about 2 pm, said Min Htay, the information officer of the All Burma Students Democratic Front (Northern Branch) on Thursday afternoon.

“This morning, the government troops marched to the village of Na Lung where they encountered landmines, so they withdrew,” he said. “Then, a skirmish broke out at Daw Pone Yan. Our ABSDF troops were not involved in the fighting. The government forces and the KIA continued fighting at the eastern bank of Moonlwel Stream.”

Meanwhile, sources said that nine military helicopters from the government’s Northern Command in Myitkyina were approaching the KIO headquarters in Laiza on Thursday afternoon. War refugees in Laiza were reported to be digging trenches while others were packing to flee to the China border.
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