Summary Report of Burma Army Activities in Northern Burma 19/3 – 31/3/2015

23 April 2015
Kachin and northern Shan State, Burma

Report Highlights:

  • Burma Military conducts offensive against the Kokang people of Shan State using fighter jets, armored vehicles, heavy artillery and infantry assaults (please see previous report).
  • Multiple engagements between Burma Army and ethnic forces in northern Burma, including the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). Burma Army also attacked and blockaded manoeuvres while KIA troops destroyed opium fields.
  • Casualties amongst Burma Army personnel escalate considerably. Preliminary estimates indicate that the Burma Army suffered at least 25 dead in this period.
  • Large numbers of troops and supplies being transported throughout Kachin and Northern Shan States.
  • 52 separate military clashes are listed in this report.

This report details all identified and verified actions undertaken by the Burma Army in Kachin and northern Shan States identified by our sources during the period from the 19th of March to the 31st. The sheer number of actions taking place in this short period indicates an upsurge in Burma Army activity in the area. It should also be noted that despite the continued threat from Burma Army attack the KIO’s Drug Eradication Department led by Township Officer Labang Nan Doi were able to destroy 735 acres of opium in 16 villages in Kuthkai Township, northern Shan State.

Details of Activity From 19 March – 31 March 2015

19 March

At 09:30 twenty military trucks carrying Burma Army troops of an unknown unit arrived at Lashio. 15 of these trucks subsequently moved to Kun Lung.

At 09:40 soldiers of the KIA’s 2nd Company, 9th Battalion and Burma Army troops of an unknown unit clashed at Hu Nam when the Burma Army attacked while the KIA was destroying an opium field.

Between 12:00 – 14:00 Burma Army troops under Light Infantry Division (LID) 66 clashed with Kokang MNDAA forces near Kung Jang, northern Shan State near the Chinese border.

20 March

Between 07:02 and 08:05 fighting occurred when KIA troops ambushed a Burma Army column of LID 77 en route between Bang Tawng and Man Mau Villages. The KIA detonated two landmines and engaged with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s). One KIA sergeant was wounded and an unknown number of Burma Army personnel were killed and injured.

12:00 Burmese combined troops of LID 33 and 66 launched an offensive on troops on the MNDAA’s No. 311 Brigade in Hkaw Htang Shan.

At 13:30 this was followed up by an air strike by two Burma Army fighter jets.

14:15 troops from Infantry Battalion 45 and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) No.571 company clashed between Nam Um and Sai Hkau near Muse. Four Burma Army soldiers were also killed in Kuthkai Township in the KIA 9th Battalion’s area. Burma Army troops of LID 77 also robbed a gold ring, a gold necklace and a set of gold earrings which were kept in a box in a house of Lashi HKawn. They also burgled the house of a Mr. Yang Gyin’s and took 500 Chinese Yuan and a gold ring from a Chinese woman named Shau Hpyin’s house. They also stole and shot a pig to eat from Mr. Lahtaw Zau Hpang in Muse township.

21 March

Between 09:00 – 16:00 Burma Army troops of unknown unit and MNDAA troops clashed at Shau Gai Village in the Kokang region of northern Shan State.

10:00 an estimated 50 Burma Army troops operated around civilian farms at Dum Bung Village in Mogoung Township.

11:00 KIA troops defending Mahtet Jawng Kawng in Mansi Township were attacked by an estimated 70 Burma Army soldiers of LIB 317 led by LID 88 Operation Commander Col. Zaw Win Htoo.

Between 17:30 – 18:30 around 50 Burmese troops equipped with two 60mm mortars and RPGs dug in positions at the cemetery of Kawng Ra village of Danai township. An unknown unit of Burmese troops coming from Ginsi looted local civilians’ belongings at Baw Sa Di village which had been abandoned when the residents fled.

17:30 Burma Army troops led by Capt. We Zin Oo from IB-318 blocked the road access to Awng Lawt from transporting goods and dried foodstuffs.

22 March

Between 07:30 – 07:50 an estimated 70 Burma Army soldiers of LIB 317 and KIA 27th Battalion troops clashed around Mahtet.

Between 08:30 – 09:30 an unknown battalion of Burma Army troops under LID 99 and TNLA No.257 Battalion clashed between Sa Maw Village and Man Ping Village.

Between 10:40 – 12:15 Burma Army troops led by LID 88 Operation Commander Col. Zaw Win Htoo fired 81mm mortars at Mahtet. After that heavy clashes occurred which may have led to the unconfirmed death of the LIB 317 Commander Lt. Col. Tsan Yu Win.

11:00 the fighting broke out when TNLA troops detonated an IED upon an unknown battalion of Burma Army troops LID-88 at Kawng Wai village in Kuthkai township in an area of KIA 9th Battalion.

15:00 LIB 317 stations at Maw Ra Wati monastery fired five 81 mortar shells at the KIA 1st Battalion positions at Lung Ja Kawng Post in Mansi Township in Southern Kachin State.

23 March

Between 05:30 – 07:00 Burma Army troops fired 120mm mortars from Kaihtik and 60mm mortar from Lawa Yang at Mahtet Village and LIB 317 occupied Mahtek Jawng Kawng in Mansi Township. The KIA 27th Battalion troops counter-attacked.

At 10:15, Burma Army troops from both LIB 506 troops (from Hpawng Seng) and LIB 416 coming (from Sakhkung Hka), for a total estimated number of 300 troops, clashed with roughly 70 KIA troops of the 38th Battalion around Loi Seng in Muse Township, northern Shan State.

Between 13:00 – 18:00 the KIA defended against an assault of combined Burma Army troops from IB 10 and 317 at Du Hku Village.

Between 15:00 – 16:30 an unknown unit of Burma Army and TNLA No.478 Battalion clashed at Nam Hpalun Bum – Shu Hkin Ta in KIA 9th Battalion area.

At 16:30, Burma Army’s 2 fighter jets circled over Momauk town before returning to Bhamo. At 18:00 11 armoured vehicles, Burma Army troops in 4 trucks and VIPs in 2 trucks coming from Lashio arrived at Sinli.

24 March

Between 08:00 and 22:00 heavy fighting erupted between Burma Army troops of LID 33 and 66 and MNDAA troops around Nam Ba Haw in the Kokang region of northern Shan State.

Between 10:00 – 11:00 fighting occurred twice at Bang Kawng as Burma Army IB 123 troops attacked the KIAs 2nd Company/9th Battalion positions in Kuthkai Township, leaving two Burma Army soldiers dead and six injured. At 10:25 LIB-415 at Kaihtik fired 120mm mortars at the KIA’s Du Hku Post. They also fired again at 16:45.

Also at 11:00, Burma Army LIB 415 fire bases at Kaihtik fired 120mm mortars five times around Lailaw, which is where KIA 1st Battalion troops are positioned.

Between 13:30 – 14:40, the KIA responded with 60mm mortar at the Burma Army mortar positions.

At 15:00 the KIA’s 12th Battalion defended against an estimated combined 100 Burma Army troops from IB’s 236 and 86 led by the IB 86 Commander Lt. Col. Tun Naing Win at Mung Ding Pa, Mansi Township. The Burma Army is currently barracked at the Mung Ding Pa school.

At 16:15 combined troops of LIB 319 and 521 coming from Madang Yang advanced on Ja Htu at the foot of Sindi Bum and clashed with the KIA’s 27th Battalion militia who were stationed there.

Between 17:58 – 18:00 a Burma Army surveillance drone coming from Myitkyina flew over Kagam Bum, Nahpaw, Hka Ya, Alen Bum and headed to Bhamo.

25 March

At 07:00 an estimated 50 Burma Army troops of IB 255 appeared at Hka La Village from Lahkra Yang in Waingmaw Township in an area of KIA 18th Battalion under 5th Brigade.

At 13:35 combined Burma Army troops under MOC 21 and LID 99 with 10 military trucks entered Manje Yawa Tit. Some troops continued to Shawng Htawk on foot and sprayed rifle fire. The Burma Army troops who reached Manje Yawa Tit fired 60mm mortars toward KIA Lung Ja and Pa Daw posts in Mansi Township at 14:12.

Between 22:15 – 22:30 a Burma Army fighter jet from Northern Command flew over Jan Bu Bum, Shwegu Township in southern Kachin State.

26 March

06:45 LIB 319 fire bases at Manje Base fired 60mm mortars three times at the KIA’s Lung Ja.

At 10:30 the KIA’s MKM militias commanded two land mine detonations on Burma Army troops from an unknown unit coming from Lashio with 17 military trucks at Sin Li Hka Lum in northern Shan State.

At 15:30 a Burma Air force fighter jet flew over Mai Ja Yang three times before returning to Bhamo.

Six fighter jets were on standby in Bhamo at this time.

At 17:30 Burma Army combined troops attacked the MNDAA’s Posts near the road to Laukkai from Chin Shwi Ho. Burma Army advanced with 6 armoured vehicles, one of which lost control and became stuck.

Between 18:05 – 18:20 fighting occurred when the KIAs 1st Battalion troops defended against Burma Army troops of LIB-319 and 521 coming from Manje Base between Shawng Htawk and Hka Lum.

Burma Army troops sent armored vehicles into Laukkai town to attack MNDAA forces the next day.

27 March

Between 08:00 – 17:00 the Burma Army launched major attacks on the MNDAA. Heavy mortar fire from Hu Pang, Laukkai ROC Base was directed at the MNDAA’s Ta Dung and Huk Htang Posts. This was followed with an offensive with large numbers of combined troops from LIDs-33, 66 and 99. The fighting occurred along Shan Ta Aik and Huk Htang, between Chin Shwi Ho and Laukkai.

At 12:30 time, the combined troops led by LID-88 operation commander Zaw Win Htoo and IB-10 commander Lt. Col. Ye Mint Lwi appeared at Ga Gaw where KIA troops led by Captain Nhkum Naw Mai stationed there engaged them. The clashes lasted 30 minutes. Burma Army troops fired 120mm artillery from Kaihtik in Mansi township.

Approximately 500 Burmese combined troops from MOC-21, LID-99 and 101 operating around Shawng Htawk and Masum Zup reinforced Mahtet and Du Hku where the fighting took place between the KIAs 1st and 27th Battalions and LIBs-10 and 317 in Mansi township.

28 March

Between 08:00 – 17:30 Burma Army troops fired mortars from Laukkai ROC Base and combined troops under LID-33 and 66, with armored support launched a total of ten assaults on MNDAA positions at Ta Dung, Hkuk Htang and Ma Li Ling in the Kokang region. 4 Kokang soldiers were injured and a number of Burmese personnel were killed and injured in the clashes. The attacks failed and the Burma Army was forced to withdraw.

At 12:40 IB-121 fired 60mm mortars from their position at Bang Yau Bum at KIA 16th Battalion troops positions at Hkring Mu Dan, Kang Wai and Jan Mai. At 17:40 Burma Army troops machine-gunned around the road outside Hkring Mu Dan in Momauk township.

At 15:00 an unknown unit of Burma Army troops under LID-99 exiting from Mung Ji was engaged by the TNLA ‘s No.335 Battalion at Nam Sa.

Between 15:30 – 16:30 TNLA No. 335 defended against an unknown unit of Burma Army troops in 10 military trucks, injuring 3 Burmese personnel in Kuthkai township.

Between 15:35 – 16:30 fighting occurred when KIA 2nd Battalion troops defended against Burma Army troops of an unknown unit exiting from Ta Mu Nye at Miwa Na Yi in Kuthkai Township in KIA 4th Brigade.IB-297 were cleaning bushes to encamp in Hka Bawm Bum hill near to Lawa Village. This place is 200 metres distance from Lung Sha Post where MHH Militia Company (2) positions above Yaw Hku Bum hill in Danai township in an area of KIA 20th Battalion under 2nd Brigade.

29 March

From 10:45 to 14:00 combined troops of the KIAs 1st and 27th Battalions defended against an attack of combined troops from LIB-320 and 387 advancing from Madang Yang. Around 100 Burma Army troops entered Nhkum Kawng. Burma Army troops operated at Mahtet and Du Hku side now in Mansi township in an area of KIA 27th Battalion.

11:00 an estimated 60 Burmese troops of an unknown battalion under LID-11 coming from Mung Ji and TNLA troops clashed near Nam Sa in Kuthkai township in KIA 2nd Battalion / 4th Brigade area.

At 12:30 combined troops from KIA 2nd Battalion and TNLA No. 335 Battalion defended against Burma Army troops of unknown battalion under LID-11 in 8 trucks at Miwa Na Yi between Ta Mu Nye and Pin Lung, leaving 2 military trucks destroyed and a number of Burmese personnel wounded in Kuthkai Township in KIA 2nd Battalion / 4th Brigade.

Between 13:37 – 16:00 clashes happened when KIA 1st Battalion troops led by Captain Dashi Naw Mai defended against approximately 200 Burma Army combined troops of LIB-320 and 387 at Madang Yang rope bridge, Mansi Township.

At 16:45 the Burma Army retreated along with two injured soldiers to Madang Yang Village.

Between 17:20 – 18:00 heavy clashes reoccurred between KIA combined troops of 1st and 27th Battalions and Burma Army LIB-320 and 387 around Madang Yang rope bridge.

Between 15:00 – 16:00 an unknown battalion of Burma Army troops under LID-11 and TNLA No.223 Battalion clashed near Nam Maw bridge between Mung Ji and Nam Sa in KIA 2nd Battalion / 4th Brigade.

30 March

At 07:20 on 30 March, Burma Army troops of an unknown unit in two military trucks coming from Lashio were ambushed in two remote mine detonations commanded by KIA 17th Battalion troops below Sin Li between Jam Lau and Na Saw, leaving at least 10 Burma Army personnel killed and injured in northern Shan State.

Between 08:00 – 20:30 Burma Army troops fired 120mm mortars from Laukkai ROC Base and 155mm artillery fired from Hu Pang about 20 times in one minute. After attacking with the artillery barrage a large attack in great strength with troops from LID-33, 66, armored vehicles and Kokang Border Guard Forces was made on MNDAA’s Posts at Huk Htang, Ta Dung and Ma Li Ling in which MNDAA No.311 Brigade is head quartered. Burma Army has been attacking with great strength to capture these places since 27 March.

At 08:44 LIBs-320 and 287 fired 60mm mortars three times from Madang Yang at the forward foot of Sin Di Bum hill in territory of KIA 27th Battalion in Mansi Township. At 10:00 the KIAs 2nd Battalion troops commanded two remote mine detonations on an approximate 60 Burma Army troops of unknown battalion under LID-11 coming from Mung Ji. The incident took place near Nam Lim bridge between Mung Ji and Nam Wan in Kuthkai township, killing nine Burma Army personnel.

31 March

At 06:45 LIB-601 arrived at the head of Shawng Htawk Village and fired 60mm mortars two times toward Hka Lum Kawng where KIA troops are stationed.

At 07:22 after re-firing 60mm mortar one time, LIB-319 Burmese troops went to Shawng Htawk from Madang Yang with discharging of small arms around left and right sides of the road in Mansi township in an area of KIA 1st Battalion under 3rd Brigade.

At 09:00 in the aftermath of clashes, KIA 1st Battalion troops went to check where the fighting took place during the days of 24-28 March. They discovered the army uniform and officer card of Burma Army Capt. Kyaw Moe Naing’s, documentary files, 182 5.56mm bullets, 3 RPG (Rocket-propelled grenade) shells and UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) map sheet were recovered.Burma Army troops of IB-417 led by Captain Moe Zaw Htwe checked in the houses of priests and IDPs living in the Baptist Church and other places of worship on the pretext of searching weapons and mines at Seng Tawng Village of Hpakant Township in an area of KIA 6th Battalion / 2nd Brigade.

God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers