War continues in Burma: 19-Year-Old Shot and Killed at Checkpoint, 22-Year-Old Killed by a Landmine, and a Mother injured by Shrapnel

12 July, 2016, Northern Burma

The Burma Army is currently engaged in an escalating conflict in both northern Shan and Kachin states. The situation has left several dead, including a 22-year-old man killed by a landmine, and others injured, such as a 39-year-old mother wounded by shrapnel and incapacitated. To further highlight the lack of security the Burma Army brings to the entire region, in Myitkyina, where there is not active fighting, Burma Army soldiers gunned down a 21-year-old student at a checkpoint. This is part of an ongoing pattern of violence as reported by the Free Burma Rangers in early and late April. There has also been an increase in violence in Northern Shan State, where Burma Army activity directed at the Shan State People’s Party (SSPP) and the related Shan State Army North (SSA-N), has been reinitiated after several months of quiet. At the present moment there are three major separate but connected conflicts in existence in northern Burma: the Burma Army against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), against the SSPP, and against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). There is also continued pressure against the Kokang people of Northern Shan State near the China border. These activities and more are outlined below.


Number of Clashes: 33

Number of Wounded: 6+

Number of Dead: 11

Number of Reported Missing/Arrested: 9

Number of Airstrikes: 6

Number of Mortar and Artillery Strikes: 11

Number of Landmine-related Incidents:  5

Human Rights Report: Violence, Arrests, and Torture

The security situation in northern Burma remains fragile as Indiscriminate torture, beatings, and killings continue to persist in both Kachin and Shan state(s).

On June 21 a Kachin Youth identified as Gum Seng Awng (aged 19) was shot dead on the road by Burma Army soldiers in Myitkyina. Residents reported hearing gunfire at three separate instances during the night. Following the shooting, it came to light that the culprit was a Burma Army soldier named Pvt. Maung Maung (Army Number T-511568) from Infantry Brigade (IB) (727), who was posted at the Bala Minhtin Bridge. Local authorities are currently investigating.

26 June: Burma Army IB (123) made a visit to the  homes of a local militia known as  Zahkung Zau Bawm (MHH) in Na Hpai village, Kuthkai township, Northern Shan State. Following the visit  a militia member named Labya La and a civilian Tangbau Ma San were taken into custody. Labya La’s wife, Labya Hkawn Pan, was beaten in the process by members of the Burma Army.

Human Rights Report: Destruction and Unlawful Seizure of Property

There has also been widespread destruction of property, arbitrary searches and seizure’s, extortion by members of the military, immigration, and local police forces.

15 June: Burma government police forces posted at a checkpoint outside Nam Ti Kan La village  have been carrying out unusual checks on vehicles and people in Mogoung township in an area of KIA No.11 Battalion under No.2 Brigade, western Kachin State.  

27 June: Armed Police stationing at Lawng Hkang Tower began demanding Ks-50000 from each gold-mine owner in Hpakant mining area.

28 June, 1030-1400: 10 individuals identifying themselves as local policemen and Immigration Department officers carried out checks and frisked civilians going to and from the Mung Nyang Bridge between Chyun Taw Quarter and O Tan Quarter.

28 June: An estimated 30 Burma Army troops from LIB (421) led by Commander Ting Lai Oo called local cattle businessmen to a meeting in Hpara Chyun (Uru Hka).  The troops reportedly asked for and stole money from the cattleowners in Hpakant township in KIA No.6 Battalion under No.2 Brigade, western Kachin State.

6 July: Burma Army troops took up positions at around Mang Dawng boat-dove, along Nmai Hka river and destroyed two riverboats of residents (people civilians) in an area of KIA No.4 Battalion under No.1 Brigade, Njang Yang township.

Military Situation in Northern Shan State

During May, the Burma Army and the Border Guard Force reinforced their positions in Mamma Village, an area south of Lashio, with an increased number of troops and aerial equipment such as Mi-35 Gunship helicopters. 

18 May: SSPP/SSA and Burma Army troops clashed at Ti Baw in Manton Township, within the area of KIA No.34 Battalion under No.4 Brigade, northern Shan State.

25 May, 1000-1100: TNLA troops and LID 88 clashed on Man Nyu Hkang Hpa hill. At 1300, IB 123 fired 15 120mm shells from Nam Hpak Ka toward where the fighting took place in Kuthkai Township in KIA No.9 Battalion under No.4 Brigade.

26 June: A combination of more than 350 troops from MNDAA and TNLA began abnormally operating around Hung Dung Lin and Law Si Htang in KIA No.36 and 38 Battalions under No.6 Brigade, northern Shan State.

26 June, 1630: A combination of MNDAA and TNLA troops clashed with Burma Army troops from LID (99) between Hung Dung Lin and Bang Lum Bum. The clashed resumed at 0500 time on 27 June.

27 June: An additional estimated 800 troops from the MNDAA and TNLA encamped at along Sap Hkung Hka and Mung Ji Ginwang.

Airstrikes in Kachin State

Airstrikes continue to be used in northern Shan State. The targets of these strikes do not tend to be military in nature, but rather hideouts for the internally displaced (IDPS), or economic targets such as logging sites or equipment. The Burma Army is using both jet fighters and Mi-35 helicopters in these strikes.

17 May, 1225: Two Burma Army jet fighters struck Ulang Pa Village with unguided bombs, Mansi Township, leaving civilian houses destroyed. That same day two air-bombs were dropped at Man Loi (LG 369 320), leaving an image of the Buddha broken.

18 May, 1505: Burma Army attacked the Bum Chyang logging camps with two airstrikes (LG 286 440).

Landmine Situation

The ongoing laying and remote detonation of landmines continues to be a recurring issue in northern Burma. While many of the casualties are soldiers, civilians remain at high risk.

1 June, 1000: two Ta’ang tealeaf-workers triggered a landmine near Kyu Sai  on the way home from work. One of the two, a 22-year-old boy, identified as Mai Lum Awng, was instantly killed in Manton Township in KIA No.8 Battalion under No.4 Brigade, Northern Shan State.

Military Situation in Kachin State

5 May, 1200: Burma Army troops from Military Operations Command (MOC) 10 fired an 81mm mortar shell toward Man Kawng village. A 39-yr-old mother of two children was hit by shrapnel in Kuthkai Township in KIA No.2 Battalion under No.4 Brigade, northern Shan State.

7 May, 1005-1030: fighting broke out when KIA soldiers from KIA No.6 Battalion attempted to slow the movement of Burma Army troops from IB 102, Light Infantry Brigade (LIB) 427. The clash resumed at 1300 as a second round of 120mm mortar shells were fired from Sang Hka by Burma Army troops, leaving KIA Lt. Jangmaw La killed. The clash lasted till 1900 hours. Burma Army troops continued conducting two separate attacks: from the Tada Ni and Pya Ung side(s) of Hpakant Township.

7 May, 1840: an estimated 200 Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion (51) exiting Ban Dawng road and triggered five landmines at Gwi Shawt Pa near Seng Mai in Nam San Yang Sub-township.

13 May, 1820: a clash broke out between KIA’s militia and Burma Army troops under Military Operation Command 7 near Hka San and Nam Shan. An estimated 20 Burma Army troops later reinforced the position where a clash took place, in the area of KIA No.6 Battalion under No.2 Brigade.

17 May, Infantry Battalion (IB) 276 arrived at Ulang Pa Hka Shang. Troops from KIA No.12 and 27 Battalions clashed. The commander of IB 276 sustained serious injuries and died en route to Muse hospital.

18 May, 1915: Infantry Battalion (238), stationed at Mung Hkawm village, fired small arms without any distinct direction. At 2030 they fired two mortar shells. At 2310 they fired another shell in Danai township in the area of KIA No.14 Battalion under No.2 Brigade.

19 May, 0530: Burma Army troops from IB 276, LIB 601 and troops from KIA No.27 Battalion clashed at Jai Wang Pa below Wa Lu Pa in Mansi Township.

19 May, 0900: an unknown unit of Burma Army troops under LID (99) and troops from KIA No.2 Battalion made a chance contact between Hu Bung village and Nayi village in Kuthkai township, northern Shan State. At 1930 hours, an unknown unit of Burma Army troops and KIA’s mitilia (MHH in short) clashed at between Loi Tawng and Hu Hin Balawng village.

19 May, 1500: Burma Army troops carried out an attack at Bum Chyang logging camps, leaving two timber trucks destroyed and a 38-year-old man named Wang, a driver from Yinjiang, injured in his right thigh by shrapnel. He was admitted to a nearby clinic in an area of KIA No.27 Battalion under No.3 Brigade.

19 May, 1600: KIA troops defended an assault by an estimated 80 Burma Army troops from an unknown unit. Three remote-mines were detonated at Hka Nan Pa (LH 405523) in Nam San Yang Sub-township in the area of KIA No.18 Battalion under No.5 Brigade.

22 May, 0928-1053: Troops from KIA No.27 Battalion and Burma Army Infantry Battalion 237 clashed in the farmland in Laika village (LG 243 497) and Laika Post (LG 213 500). The KIA decamped from Laika Post. KIA troops and LIB 319 later clashed at around Mai Sen Kawng (LG 221 407) near Kung Hka Pa between 1200-1210 hours. KIA Corpl Lahtaw Naw San sustained a minor injury to his abdomen.

22 May, 1540: Fighting broke out when KIA soldiers led by 2/Lt. Zau Ra defended an attack by Burma Army troops from LID 99. LID 99 appeared at Man Ping Village (MG 368 664) in KIA No.38 Battalion under No.6 Brigade, northern Shan State. On 23 May, KIA soldiers and LIB 417 clashed twice at Hpawng Seng Man Ping Village.

22 May, 1830: Burma Army troops from Chyaut Dung Ji, fired 5 mortar shells toward Mai Ja in KIA No.1 Battalion.

23 May, 0530-1000: Burma Army IB 237 and KIA soldiers from No.27 Battalion clashed at Laika Zup Ja, in Mansi Township. At 0625 time, a combine of Burma Army troops from LIB 319, 521 and KIA soldiers clashed at Kung Hka Pa.

23 May, 1600: Burma Army troops from IB (276) and KIA soldiers from No.12 Battalion clashed at Nam Sa Hkaraw in Mansi Township.

24 May, 1300: two helicopters from Myitkyina flew over Daw Hpum Yang towards Bhamo.

24 May, 1336-1346: Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion (IB) 276 and KIA troops clashed at Nam Sa (LG 338 314).

24 May, 1350: two helicopters from Bhamo (Manmaw) flew over where earlier fighting had taken place in Bum Chyang Village, Nam Lim Pa Village. The helicopter flew out of the area at 1420.

24 May, 1500: Burma Army LIB 319 and soldiers from KIA No. 27 Battalion clashed at Hkang Kai Hka and Hkang Loi Hka (LG 222 412) near Kung Hka Pa.

24 May, 1800: a combine of Burma Army troops and KIA militiamen clashed around Nam Jan Hka Hku Village in the area controlled by the KIA No.6 Battalion under No.2 Brigade, Hpakant Township.

24 May, 2000-2100: KIA militiamen defended as Burma Army troops of an unknown unit were appearing at the back of Lawng Hkang Nlung Shadaw (Stone Post) in Hpakant Township.

25 May, 0900: Burma Army troops from LIBs 319, 521 and KIA troops clashed at (LG 223 405) between Hkang Kai Hka and Hkang Loi Hka.

26 May, 1300: 43 trucks from lower division carrying gunpowder headed to Hpakant  from Seng Hpra in areas under the control of KIA No.6 Battalion.

30 May, 1200-1205: a minor clash broke out between KIA soldiers and an estimated 30 Burma Army troops from Light Infantry Brigade (LIB) 602 exiting out of Maji Gung Kaji in KIA No.12 Battalion.

1 June, 0830: KIA troops from No.10 Battalion and IB (37) clashed at Lan Zawn village in Chihpwi township.

2 June, 1615-1710: fighting broke out when combined troops from Light Infantry Battalion (387, 602) carried out a raid on KIA Mahtet Post (LG 374 492) where KIA soldiers from No.27 Battalion position, leaving one KIA soldier injured in the leg. The KIA unit decamped from the post. During the attack a combined number of Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion (237) and Light Infantry Battalion (319, 521) entered Mung Hkawng village, in Mansi township under KIA No.3 Brigade control area.

13 June: Burma Army troops stationed at Shadan Pa Byuha Kawng (Tactical Command Base) fired two mortar shells at Ruber Kawng Post, a KIA militia position. At 0100, they fired a total of four mortar shells, two mortar shells again at the same post, and another two shells toward Ban Dawng too in Nam San Yang Sub-township in KIA No.18 Battalion.

14 June: KIA soldiers from No.2 Battalion and unknown unit of Burma Army troops clashed at Lum Hkawm near Mung Ji Mung Paw in Mungsi township in KIA No.4 Brigade, northern Shan State.

26 June, 1200-1230: a clash broke out after KIA soldiers triggered a remotely detonated mine controlled by Burma Army troops from LIB (602) near Lau Gun valley, Mile-26 Kaihtik road. KIA Sergt. Hpaujung Tu Mai, Pte. Lahkang Naw Ja, and Pte. Hkai Sin were shot dead in the ensuing firefight. Pte. Nbrang Brang Awng was also injured while collecting weapons and ammunition after the initial confrontation.

26 June, 1020: a helicopter from Nam Pawng Air Base flew over to the east of Mali Hka river in an area of KIA No.11 Battalion under No.2 Brigade.

26 June: two troop operation columns were created from LIB (382) in Nam San Yang. The 1st operation column led by Major Myo Thin Tun and Lt. Thet Naing Oo took up a position between Madi Yang and Nam San Yang, The 2nd operation column led by Major Min Min Tet and Lt. Zeyar Maung took up a position between Zi Kahtawng and Gang Dau Yang.

27 June, 1000: an estimated 40 Burma Army troops of unknown unit traveled to Nam Hpa Chaung and Ja Ing Yang from Sum Du village. Along the way they struck three landmines between Hkanu Hka stream between Hka U and Ja Ing Yang. 

28 June, 1630: a clash broke out between KIA soldiers and Burma Army troops from LIB (382) as they were passing Lazing Kawng.
6 July, 0630: an unknown battalion of Burma Army troops under the 7th Military Operation Command (MOC-7) had a chance contact with KIA militiamen from No.6 Battalion (MHH in short)  at Hkum Tsai Zup, leaving five Burma Army soldiers killed in Hpakant township in KIA No.2 Brigade, western Kachin State.