Civilians Murdered and Widespread Use of Air Strikes Despite High-Level Meetings

1 April 2015
Kachin and northern Shan States, Burma

Despite recent meetings between senior representatives of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), President Thein Sein and Burma Army military head Min Aung Hlaing to discuss a potential ceasefire agreement, incidents of aggression by the Burma Army have increased to levels not seen since initial fighting in 2011.

Civilians Murdered

On 23 March, three civilians, a father, mother and their son, were shot to death by Burma Army soldiers of Infantry Battalion (IB) 10 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 317 at Du Hku Village. Mr. Dama, his wife, and their son Dama La, were all killed while another son, Dama Naw, escaped with his wife to Mung Hkawng Village.

Multiple Incidents of Air Strikes

At 5:15 on the 22 March, two Burma Army air force fighter jets attacked Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions around Mahtet, which is defended by the KIA’s 1st Battalion.

Between 08:05 – 15:00 on 24 March major fighting erupted when an estimated 100 Burma Army soldiers of IB 10 attacked the KIA’s Du Hku Post defended by the 27th Battalion.

Two Burmese aircraft bombed the KIA defenses more than ten times in three rounds of assaults that occurred between 13:10 – 13:25, 14:16 – 14:35 and between 15:45 – 16:02 times.

A number of Burmese personnel were killed or wounded in this offensive and KIA troops recovered the dead bodies of a Burmese sergeant and two privates and a captain rank uniform, as well recovering ten Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) projectiles, eight 60mm shells, 500 .50 caliber machine gun rounds, a quantity of 5.56mm ammunition, operational maps and assorted other military equipment in the aftermath of the clash.

On the 26 March between 14:50 – 15:20 air strikes launched from Bhamo struck the KIA’s Du Hku, Nga Tu Kawng, Hpa Ra and Lun Ja Kawng posts. After launching a total of seven strikes with rockets and strafing runs with cannon the aircraft returned to Bhamo.

Also on the 26th between 17:20 – 17:40, Burma helicopters targeted the KIA’s Hpa Ra, Mahtet and Sindi posts. Three strafing runs (when aircraft-mounted automatic weapons fire upon ground targets) were made in total with rockets and machine guns.

God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers