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Published on Monday, 14 January 2013 17:22
Prolonged armed clashes between the Myanmar army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern state of Kachin have claimed civilian deaths, sources said.
A government army camp in Dokphoneyan this morning (14 1- 2013) fired four rounds of 105mm cannons on some residential areas of Laiza, where the KIA is headquartered, killing two civilians and injuring six others.
"They (the government army) fired four rounds of 105mm cannons at 8.15 am today and three exploded. Each cannon was fired about every two minutes. The first one fell down on a house near Myitkyina Hotel in Laiza, killing two civilians. The second fell down and exploded near Hsinsa Hotel while the third fell into the forest" said KIA spokesman Lanan.
It was the first incident in which civilians were killed by the weapons of the government army.
At about 7pm yesterday, a local man named Zaw Zaw Htay injured his both hands and right leg as he stepped on a mine in Phakant area. He is now receiving treatment at Phakant Hospital.
"The injured man is a young gem trader. He was wounded while urinating by a roadside. No one knew who planted the mine. Though he is in critical condition, he could not have been sent to Myitkyina General Hospital as Myitkyina-Phakant road is still blocked due to skirmishes", a local resident said.
A skirmish also occurred yesterday near Kahtan village in Lonekhin village-tract in Phakant Township, injuring one civilian. The skirmish started after the KIA opened fire while the government army troops were patrolling the area, Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut wrote on his Facebook page.
The ongoing fightings forced another 883 local people to flee and take refuge in Lonekhin.
Myitkyina-Mandalay No 34 down-train was mined between Nantseaung and Mawlue stations on Sunday and this incident was the first time.
Nabar-Myitkyina No 49 local up-train was also mined, killing a police and injuring four civilians on January 10.
An army helicopter made an emergency landing, seven miles east of Tarlawgyi village in Myitkyina last Friday, causing two military officers and a sergeant dead. The government turned down that KIA said that a serviceman aboard the helicopter started shooting at the KIA.
The clashes between the government troops and KIA intensified on 23 December. The army informed the KIA to withdraw all KIA troops from Myitkyina-Bahmo route by 25 December, but the KIA objected the ultimatum of the army.
The army occupied an outpost of point 771 hill of KIA brigade No 23 by launching air strikes on December 30.
The government troops launched air strikes to the KIA in Lajaryan region by using three fighters. Both sides exchanged heavy weapon fire, more than 60 times in a single day on December 30. There occurred over 150 skirmishes between the government and the KIA during December.
The heavy weapon fires numbered over 1000 times during December last year in Lajaryan region, seven miles from Laiza. There were more than 400 skirmishes of heavy weapon fires from December 28 to 30. There are still heavy weapon fires in Lajaryan region although air strikes became less after the first week of January, quoted the KIA report.
KIA alerted through Laiza TV to the local people concerning the possible air strikes. The skirmishes between the government troops and the KIA are still ongoing in the second week of January this year.