Kachin Civilians Flee as Battles Blaze in Namlim Pa and Surrounding Area

Kachin civilians fled Mungding Pa village as Burmese army troops surround their village (Photo: KBC)
By Kachinland News
November 18, 2013

Fighting between Kachin Independence Army and Burmese Army continues today in Namlim Pa and Kawng Ja village, with more government troops reported to have arrived in current conflict area in Mansi Township.

About 350 Burmese army troops from 47th, 56th, 240th and 276th Light Infantry Battalions under Bhamo-based 21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21) led by Lt. Col. Min Naing Oo entered Namlim Pa village, where over 1000 IDPs and 700 students are sheltering in makeshift tents in a village of about 2300 residents, and subsequently seized the village on Nov 16 at 4 pm.

Namlim Pa residents together with aid workers from Bhamo and Maija Yang fled their homes and tents to the mountains in the middle of Saturday night as battle looms in their village.

The battle started at 7:40 am on Sunday morning when Burmese army troops came closer to KIA positions outside Namlim Pa village. The two sides waged a series of battles that lasted until 2:30 pm on Sunday. KIA sources say they found the body of one government soldier and no casualties on their side during Sunday battles.

KIA’s 12th Battalion commander Major John Awng said fighting between the two sides continue today at Kawng Ja and Namlim Pa village. He said his troops engaged in a firefight in Kawng Ja at about 7 am and again in Namlim Pa at about 11 am.

Local sources say at least 16th Infantry Battalions from Burmese army’s Theinni-based 16th Military Operations Command (MOC-16) and Bhamo-based 21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21) are currently deployed in Mansi Township. A source in Bhamo says a ship carrying about 300 Burmese army soldiers from 99th Light Infantry Division based in Meiktila have arrived in Bhamo from Shwe Gu. Another source says additional troops from 68th Light Infantry Battalion came from Man Win Gyi to reinforce Burmese army troops in Kai Htik in Mansi Township.

Thousands of Namlim Pa residents have fled their homes and are still on their way traveling on foot. They made a brief stop in Man Gau village yesterday and continued their journey to Man Win Pa and Lagat Yang IDP camp. About 40 IDPs together with aid workers from Karuna Bhamo Social Service (KBSS) arrived in Bhamo yesterday adding already crowded IDP camps.

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