Daily Burma Army Attacks In Kutkai Township Affect Local Population
13 September 2019
Kachin and Northern Shan States
Mid to late August saw almost daily fighting in Kutkai and Theinni townships in northern Shan State. Burma Army reinforcements were flown into Lashio on Aug. 17, soon deploying to numerous areas and engaging with Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Arakan Army (AA) forces.
The civilian cost of the fighting remains high local areas like Mawhit Village, where a mortar killed five civilians and wounded three more. In Kutkai, there’s been an influx of roughly 500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kutkai. Ongoing reports show civilians getting killed or wounded due to the proximity of operating forces on both sides of the war. Additionally, markets in Lashio and Kutkai are closing down because of the recent violence, driving up food prices on the market.
Civilian Casualties and Events
A report received on Aug. 11 stated that Burma Army soldiers positioned along the Danai River imposed a levy of 10,000 kyats per traveler enroute to Awng Lawt Village, Danai Township.
On Aug. 13 at 1515 hrs, MNDAA and Burma Army troops exchanged fire in the area between Shaije Pa and Nayi, in Kutkai Township. The headmaster of Mungji High School, Maran Zau Shan, was struck by shrapnel in his legs while heading to Kutkai during the fighting and was admitted to Kutkai Hospital.
Fifteen minutes later, a Burma Army squad (approximately 12 soldiers) and approximately a dozen policemen arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles at a compound owned by Unity Company in Hpakant Township. The contingent impounded 20 mining machines in use by the company.
Then, at 1850 hours, Burma Army soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 13 arrested two civilians that were working along Dahkaw Hkahku (northern Dahkaw Stream), Gawlu Yang Village. They were taken to Kamaing Byuha Hill (Kamaing Tactical Base) in Hpakant Township. LIB 13 is stationed on Hkumtsai Tsup Hill.
Also on Aug. 13, a 19-year-old male, Naw Mai, from Tamoenye Village, was killed when he received a gunshot wound to the head. Burma Army soldiers buried his body. A funeral service was held and his body was exhumed to be reinterred in another location. He was the son of Mwihaw Naw Tawng and Labang Yang, from Block 4, Tamoenye Village.
On Aug. 14, Daw Tin Nyunt was killed by an unidentified group of individuals while tending to her Maythi Store at Sabaw Mining Area near Senghpra Village, Hpakant Township. She was found with her throat slit.
On Aug. 17 at 0920 hrs, Burma Army elements suspended access to Namdu Sinli Bridge near the entrance to Sinli, Theinni Township.
Due to increased fighting during mid-August, it was reported on Aug. 18 that the price of rice and other food increased when the Lashio and Kutkai markets closed due to local fighting.
On Aug. 22 at 0700 hrs, Pyitutsit (P.T.Ts) members Tin Oo and his wife Thi Tha Aye from Chye Village, were shot dead by a different P.T.T group, in Mohnyin Township. P.T.Ts are militias made up of local ethnic people and are local proxies of the Burma Army.
On Aug. 22 at 2330 hrs, unidentified combatants fired at Shaw Chya Shi (male, 58) from Nam Hpalun Village. He received a gunshot wound to his left arm and abdomen while traveling in the vicinity of Hpalun Village. That night he was transported to Kutkai Hospital by 0030 hrs, and then transferred to Lashio Hospital at 1530 hrs as his wounds were determined to be in critical condition.
On Aug. 26, over 500 civilians fled from the fighting in Kutkai Township in order to seek refuge. Specifically, 55 families (96 males, 110 females) from Nammwi Pa Village and Chyailen (Hanggai) Village fled to a church in Humung Village. Similarly, 140 families from Man Nawng Village and Kungsa Village (164 males, 340 females) fled to Hkulung Block 8, Kutkai Town.
On Aug. 27 at 1700 hrs, Pan Awng (male, 40) was killed instantly when he stepped on a landmine south of Loihkam Banglung Village, Kutkai Township. The landline was reportedly planted by elements of the TNLA. He was from Baleng Village.
On Aug. 29, Burma Army elements from an unidentified unit entered Yung Ngaw Village, arrested seven males and took them away. The individuals arrested were: Lagang Zawng Hawng, Maran Zau Ji, Mahaw Tu Nan, Galau Hkawng Hawng, Zahkung Zau Bawk, Zahkung Zau Tang, and Maran La Doi.
On Aug. 29 at 1915 hrs in Kutkai Township, Burma Army troops carried out extensive vehicle and personnel searches on civilians traveling to Namgut Hunawng. Between 1210-1230 hrs, Burma Army elements exchanged fire with TNLA elements at Kuthkai Namtun. During this time period, a large truck was traveling when it was set on fire in Shukkin-Ta by an unidentified group.
On Aug. 30 at 0600 hrs, a combined TNLA and MNDAA force set fire to a large truck and one motorcycle in Theinni Township.
On Aug. 30, elements of Burma Army Infantry Battalion (IB) 241 fired 60mm mortars that landed in the vicinity of Mawhit Village. Three mortars exploded in the village, killing five civilians: Sumlut Htoi Ja (female, 34), Zahkung Nang Pan (female, 14), Zahkung Zau Hkun Lat (male, 9), Lu San (female, 18), and Lasham Seng Hkawn (female, 4). Three civilians were wounded and admitted to Lashio Hospital.
On Aug. 15 around 0530 hrs, elements of the AA, MNDAA, and the TNLA coordinated multiple attacks on the Defence Services Technological Academy (DSTA) and Pyin Oo Lwin toll gate (the exit to Nawnghkio Town) in Pyin Oo Lwin Township, Goktwin police post, and Nawnghkio toll gate (the exit to Kyaukme Town) in Nawnghkio Township, a narcotic checkpoint, and the Burma Army LIB 115 base.
Mogoung Township (Kachin State)
On Aug. 13 at 1205 hrs, a Myanmar Air Force (MAF) fighter was spotted flying north of Mali Hka (Irrawaddy River). It appears to have taken off from Nampawng Airbase.
Kyaukme Township (Shan State)
On Aug. 16 at 1230 hrs, elements of the 666th and 999th TNLA battalions fired 60mm mortars at a Burma Army artillery position.
Momauk Township (Kachin State)
Between Aug. 23-25, Burma Army troops conducted operations on routes between Num Lang and Dawhpum Yang.
Lashio Township (Shan State)
On Aug. 17 at 0910 hrs, Burma Army troops (unidentified units) from southern Burma arrived at the Lashio airfield via commercial and military transport planes. These units reportedly arrived to reinforce existing units on the ground in conflict areas.
On Aug.17 at 1108 hrs, a combined force of MNDAA and TNLA troops attacked the IB 68 base between Lashio and Mung Yaw.
On Aug. 17 at 1110 hrs, TNLA soldiers attacked Burma Army positions near the Asia World Gate outside of an entrance to Lashio. Fighting lasted for five minutes, then the TNLA force broke contact and withdrew.
On Aug. 18 at 1900 hrs, a Burma Army convoy struck several mines in the vicinity of Namtun emplaced in coordination by MNDAA and TNLA forces. The convoy was comprised of 40 military transport trucks and had left Lashio at 1700 hrs.
On Aug. 20 at 0900 hrs, Burma Army elements (unit unidentified) exchanged fire with TNLA troops in the vicinity of Paju Village. The Burma Army unit was enroute to Sinli.
Kutkai Township (Shan State)
On Aug. 11 at 1530 hrs, TNLA troops attacked the positions of a company (approximately 100 soldiers) from LID 99 on Mawhan Hill (P.T.T. Base).
On Aug. 17 at 0500 hrs, two trucks transporting a company (approximately 100 soldiers) from LID 101 arrived at Manbat, traveling to Mandu.
On Aug. 17 between 0540-0610, a platoon (approximately 40 soldiers) from LID 99 based at Yahtaik exchanged fire with MNDAA troops. Concurrently, at 0530 MNDAA initiated contact with Burma Army elements in the vicinity of Yinkoi Taung and at 0630, TNLA troops launched an attack on a Burma Army position emplaced on a hill in the vicinity of Nam Gut Village.
On Aug. 17 around 0610 hrs, fighting broke out between elements of the TNLA and Burma Army at Nam Ba Chi, around Balawng Kungsa and Galeng (near Paju Village). Burma Army artillery assets in Kutkai conducted a fire mission in support of Burma Army forces at 1500 hrs in addition to mortars from MOC 16 based at Sinli, which targeted the areas of Paju and Galeng at 1515 hrs.
On Aug. 17 at 0630 hrs, elements of LID 99 exchanged fire with TNLA troops at Bang Gai Ja Maw Road Junction.
On Aug. 17 between 0715-0740 hrs, a TNLA platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) attacked Burma Army soldiers from LID 99 stationed at Bang Kawng, Hu Mung Yang.
On Aug. 18 at 1250 hrs, TNLA and Burma Army elements exchanged fire between Nam Gut and Hu Nawng near Kutkai. Two MAF fighters strafed the TNLA troops and returned to Lashio at 1345 hrs.
On Aug. 20 between 1055-1140 hrs, Burma Army 352nd Artillery Unit (based at Kutkai) fired approximately 10 rounds toward Bum Sumshi. The indirect fire continued sporadically with approximately 22 more rounds until 1830 hrs.
On Aug. 22 at 1930 hrs, a combined force of MNDAA and TNLA troops attacked Burma Army soldiers from IB 123 stationed at Nammwi, capturing the position along with assorted small arms.
On Aug. 23 at 0840 hrs, a Burma Army convoy was attacked between Hpalun Bum and Hpa Hkyi by a combined force of TNLA and MNDAA troops. The convoy consisted of 14 military transport trucks and two armored vehicles coming from Kutkai.
On Aug. 23 at 0900 hrs, a combined force of TNLA and MNDAA troops exchanged fire with Burma Army troops in the vicinity of Namhkai Bridge.
On Aug. 23 at 1100 hrs, an MNDAA platoon (approximately 40 soldiers) from Unit 555 exchanged fire with a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) in the vicinity of Mawhan.
On Aug. 24 at 0300 hrs, a combined MNDAA and TNLA force attacked a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) that was positioned at Namhkai Bridge.
On Aug. 24 between 0300-0415 hrs, Burma Army elements exchanged fire with TNLA troops at Namgut Village.
On Aug. 24 at 0430 hrs, TNLA troops launched an attack on Burma Army troops from LID 99 arriving at Yinkoi Taung.
On Aug. 24 between 0830-1945 hrs, Burma Army troops exchanged fire with TNLA troops between Pangkaw Road Junction and Mungyu.
On Aug. 24 at 0830 hrs, MNDAA troops attacked a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) positioned at the head of Nam-um Village. At the same time, a combined MNDAA and TNLA force attacked Burma Army troops from LID 99 arriving between Loikang Stream and Nammwi.
On Aug. 25 at 0730 hrs, an exchange of fire occurred between a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) from LID 99 and MNDAA troops in the vicinity of Nam-um Village.
On Aug. 25 at 0800 hrs, a Burma Army convoy (14 transport trucks, two armored vehicles) exchanged fire with a TNLA unit north of Namhpakka, Kri Yang. Two MAF helicopters arrived on station at 1000 hrs, one making two strafing runs on the TNLA positions. Another MAF helicopter flew over Banggai Bum Hill and returned at 1037 hrs.
On Aug. 25 at 0800 hrs, a Burma Army convoy of eight transport trucks and two armored vehicles was spotted heading to Muse Township from IB 123’s base of operations.
On Aug. 26 at 0730 hrs, an exchange of fire occurred between an unidentified Burma Army unit and MNDAA forces in the vicinity of Hanggai, Nammwi.
On Aug. 26 at 1800 hrs, TNLA forces attacked Burma Army positions at Namhkai Bridge. At 1805 hrs, TNLA forces attacked Kuthkai Byuha Base (Tactical Command Base), advancing from Marau Kawng.
The same day, at 1815 hrs, a combined AA, MNDAA and TNLA force clashed with IBs 241 and 242 in the vicinity of the Kutkai golf course.
On Aug. 27 at 0830 hrs, three KIA militiamen opened fire on a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers) from MOC 10 coming from Mungji, on the road to Namhu Village. One of the militiamen was killed while the other two fled to their post. The body and small arms were not recovered.
On Aug. 27 at 1650 hrs, small arms fire was exchanged between TNLA and Burma Army elements in the vicinity of Namgut, Hu Nawng. At 1740 hrs another contact occurred between TNLA and Burma Army elements in the vicinity of Hpahpik near Nam Hpalun.
On Aug. 27, TNLA elements opened fire on eight transport trucks in the vicinity of Manloi, Nam Hpalun between Namhpakka and Kutkai roads.
On Aug. 27 between 1300-1400 hrs, Burma Army elements exchanged fire with TNLA forces between the Kutkai golf course and Hujang Village. Between 1600-1700 hrs, TNLA elements exchanged fire with Burma Army elements at Ai Ung Ngaw and Shuhkin Ta.
On Aug. 28 between 1500-1530 hrs, a platoon (approximately 40 soldiers) from LID 99 exchanged fire with TNLA elements in the vicinity of Namgut.
On Aug. 28 between 1720-1800 hrs, Burma Army troops exchanged fire with TNLA elements at Nawngtau-Pa near Namhpa Hkyi.
On Aug. 30 at 1300 hrs, a combined TNLA and MNDAA force launched a coordinated attack against a Burma Army forward position in the vicinity of Humung. At 1330 hrs, Burma Army elements engaged a combined force of TNLA and MNDAA forces at Man Bang.
On Aug. 31, Burma Army elements exchanged fire with TNLA forces (based at Yinkoi Taung) between Namhpakka and Mungyu.
On Aug. 31 at 0900 hrs, a combined MNDAA and AA company (approximately 100 soldiers) exchanged fire with a battalion-sized Burma Army force in the vicinity of Sumbwi Village.
On Aug. 31 at 0925 hrs, Burma Army troops exchanged fire with TNLA troops on the outskirts of Kutkai Town.
On Aug. 31 at 0946 hrs, a combined TNLA and MNDAA force exchanged fire with Burma Army elements on the hills of Kutkai Blocks 8, 4 and 5.
Theinni Township (Shan State)
On Aug. 11 at 0300 hrs, a Burma Army troop convoy of 20 transport trucks was attacked by MNDAA troops between Nati and Bangti while crossing into Kokang controlled areas.
On Aug. 16 the following Burma Army troop movements occurred: A company (approximately 100 soldiers) from LID 99 (LID 99 is stationed at Kawng Gaw), arrived in Tunti at 1800 hrs; a company from LIB 362 (LIB 362 is stationed at Laugung Hpaw), arrived in Nam Jarap at 1400 hrs. A company from LIB 367 (stationed in the vicinity of Manlung), arrived in Nam Jarap at 1500 hrs.
On Aug. 17 between 0500-0510 hrs, MNDAA troops destroyed Mung Pawn Bridge and Kunlung Mile 41 Bridge in the vicinity of Nam Jarap. At 0520 hrs, MNDAA Unit 201 attacked a Burma Army position at Yaza Kung, subsequently capturing it.
On Aug. 17 at 0600 and then again at 0900 hrs, fighting broke out between TNLA and Burma Army elements at a checkpoint between Sinli and Lashio. Sinli High School was closed as a result.
On Aug. 24 at 0310 hrs, a combined TNLA and MNDAA force attacked a Burma Army checkpoint at Sinli Hkalum. The attack lasted five minutes and then the TNLA/MNDAA force withdrew.
On Aug. 24 at 0800 hrs, Burma Army troops arrived in the vicinity of Namgut, Namhkai Bridge, and Namhkai roads and indiscriminately fired small arms fire in the area.
On Aug. 24 at 1200 hrs, there was an exchange of fire between a platoon-plus sized Burma Army element and MNDAA forces at Kawngsung Bum.
On Aug. 26 between 1200-1230 hrs, there was fighting between LIB 362 and a combined TNLA and MNDAA force on a hill between Kawng Sung and Na Nawt.
On Aug. 29 at 1000 hrs, a Burma Army platoon (approximately 60 soldiers, unidentified unit) exchanged fire with MNDAA troops in the vicinity of Namti.
On Aug. 30 at 0647 hrs, Burma Army elements exchanged fire with MNDAA forces in the area between Mungli and Namtun.
On Aug. 31 at 1100 hrs, there was a clash between an MNDAA squad (approximately 20 soldiers) and a company (approximately 100 soldiers) from IB 78 at Hu Yau Bum.
LID- Light Infantry Division
LIB- Light Infantry Battalion
MOC- Military Operational Command
MAF- Myanmar Air Force
BA- Burma Army
AA- Arakan Army
MNDAA- Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
KIA- Kachin Independence Army
TNLA- Ta’ang National Liberation Army