July 16-31 Clash Summary: Kachin State and Northern Shan State
Kachin State and Northern Shan State
16-31 July Clash Summary by Township
Hpakant – 3 clashes, 3 attacks (1 artillery, 2 remote mine)
Danai – 4 attacks (3 artillery, 1 small arms)
Kuthkai – 1 clash
Manton – 1 clash
Mansi – 2 attacks (2 artillery)
Burma Army Continues Attacks in Hpakant Township
Three clashes (troop-on-troop) and three attacks (one-sided) happened in Hpakant Township from 17 – 31 July.
Most of the fighting occurred in Hu Pa area between Burma Army Light Infantry Division (LID)-33 and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 6th Battalion militia units. The Burma Army fired barrages of artillery causing the KIA to decamp Hu Pa Post on the morning of July 18th.
Seven Burma Army soldiers were wounded on the 24th during a KIA 6th battalion attack east of Hpakant Town.
Burma Army LID-33 is the same unit whose attacks on the Rohingya people in 2017 contributed to pushing more than 650,000 Rohingya people into neighboring Bangladesh; Burma Army LID 33 was then redeployed to Kachin State in 2018. April 2018 saw Burma Army LID 33 displacing villagers around Njangyang Village in Njangyang Township to cut support for KIA in the area.
Miners at risk in western Kachin State
Kachin State is a region rich in gold, jade, and amber. The people who work these mines, either official miners for a company or private scavengers, risk their lives daily.
KIA reports state that over 100 were killed in two landslides occurring on the 14th and the 24th, the second of which occurred at the Aye Yar Yadana Company mining area. Heavy rains in the region have impeded rescue operations, and it has taken days to recover those buried.
The Kachin State Government and the Aye Yar Yadana mining company provided 600,000 Kyats to each of the victims’ families from the July 24th mine collapse.
It isn’t only nature that the miners need to be fearful of. In Danai Township, on July 20th, Burma Army Infantry Battalions (IB) 86 and 297 fired their guns in the air to intimidate civilian miners and force them away from Lapu Hka, Htang Bra, Sut Chyai and Mung Kawm Pa mining areas. The same happened again seven days later on the 27th.
The following day in the Tum Mari and One Pala gold mining area of Danai Township, Burma Army troops destroyed telephones and other communication equipment belonging to the mine workers.
Burma Army indiscretions in Kachin and Northern Shan states continue to wound civilians, bringing the total this month to six.
Mortars fired by the Burma Army during a clash in Manton Township in Northern Shan State wounded the villager Mr. Aik Ye, hitting him with shrapnel in the waist. The clash occurred on July 18th at 12:45 between approximately 60 Burma Army soldiers and troops from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) 3rd Brigade.
In Danai Township, on July 22, two civilians, Mr. Maran Tang Seng, and Ms. Gawlu Roi were wounded and one KIA soldier, Nhkum Naw Awng, were killed when they stepped on a landmine planted by the Burma Army.