Houses and huts in an orange orchard owned by Lt-Gen Nban La Awng, Vice-President of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) was burnt down on Tuesday evening by the Burmese Army, said eyewitnesses.
Hundreds of acres of the orange plantation along with non-commercial fish farms are located near Awng Ja village close to Ga Ra Yang village on the Myitkyina-Manmaw (Bhamo) Road in Waingmaw Township, about 36 miles south of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.
The arson was perpetrated by Burmese Army troops from the Light Infantry Division No. 88 based in Magway, said KIA officers.
The Burmese Army soldiers also captured the Awng Ja post of KIA’s Light Infantry Division No. 254 and seized a 25mm machine gun, said eyewitnesses.
The KIA soldiers at the post withdrew after government troops resorted to indiscriminate shelling from heavy artillery, added eyewitnesses.
Jubilant Burmese troops celebrated on Wednesday in Ga Ra Yang after they burnt down the KIO leader’s orchard and seized a machine gun, according to witnesses.
The former General Thein Sein led Burmese government is currently sourcing troops from over 100 battalions for the offensive against the KIA in Kachin State and Northern Shan State even as it talks about democratic reforms in the country.