Artillery restarts after UN visit: KIA

Writer: 
Tun Lin Aung (Myitkyina)

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) says the government has resumed artillery barrages after it halted its military offensive in Kachin State for three days while the UN's humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, visited refugee camps.

“[We’re] informed of heavy gunfire. Six helicopters and two jet fighters came on the morning of October 14. It’s raining and no fighting took place. A ground offensive occurred on the night of October 11,” said Colonel Naw Li from the KIA.

A Myitkyina-based peace group said there was no fighting during the UN coordinator's visit. 

O’Brien and members of the World Food Programme arrived in Myitkyina on October 13 and visited the Waikyaing camp in a KIA-controlled area in Waimaw Township.

They also visited Maina camp on their way back from Waikyaing and then flew back to Yangon. 

Heavy fighting between the army and KIA has reportedly continued for one month.

Army and KIA sources both report heavy casualties.