Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Burmese jets attack Kachin positions near Laiza, says KIA

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 14:08 Phanida

Two Burmese government military jets attacked Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions outside Laiza on Tuesday, according to the KIA.

A spokesperson for the Kachin army said that a ground battle broke out near Hka Ya Bum, which is five miles from Laiza, and that the government’s military jets had attacked KIA positions.

“At 2:15 p.m. two jets launched an air strike at Hka Ya Bum," said La Nan, spokesperson for the KIO. "After the jets left the area, a ground battle broke out again." The government’s military jets were spotted by the KIO’s third brigade again on Tuesday, but they did not another launch air strike, the spokesman said.

Maj. Min Htay, information official for the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (Northern Branch), said, “The two aircrafts carried out a military offensive near Hka Ya Bum in support of [the Burmese army troops]. At 4 p.m., they came back [to Hka Ya Bum] and carried out an air strike.”

Min Htay told Mizzima that the government army’s heavy shells landed on Laiza on Tuesday, but that there were no casualties. He added that since mid-December, the government’s military aircraft have carried out air strikes on some days, and that government troops have fired heavy artillery at the KIO front lines every day.

On January 14, three Kachin civilians were killed in Laiza when an artillery strike by Burmese government forces based in Hkan Gai Mountain hit the town.

Ye Htut, President Thein Sein's spokesman, said on his official Facebook page that the government forces did not fire any heavy weapons at the Laja Yang area that morning.

The report about the most recent air strike and ground battle has not yet been confirmed by other sources.
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