A new war front was opened between Burmese Army troops and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers on Wednesday afternoon, at 4:30 p.m. local time in Puta-O district in Kachin State, Northern Burma, said KIA officials.
There is heavy fighting between Burmese troops under the Puta-O Military Strategy Command-3 and KIA soldiers of Battalion 7 under Brigade 1, said a KIA officer in Laiza headquarters in eastern Kachin State.
The war front spread to Puta-O (Putau in Kachin) a couple weeks after government troops launched a full-fledged military offensive against the KIA in Sang Gang in N’mawk (Momauk) township in Manmaw (Bhamo) district.
The new war zone is at the head of Hkrang Hka River in the Triangle Area (Mali-Hkrang Walawng in Kachin) in the southeast of the district.
The Burmese government’s offensive against the KIA ended the 17-year-old ceasefire between them. Civil war has been intensified in Kachin State and Shan State since June 9.
La Nan, General Secretary-2 of Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of the KIA said the KIO/KIA always welcomes a genuine ceasefire and negotiations with the military-backed Burmese government under international mediation.
Till now the fighting was restricted to KIA territories and the KIA is defending itself against government troops, said KIA officials.