As local residents marked the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year Sunday evening, troops from the Burmese army opened fire on La Ying, a village located in China that is currently sheltering many Kachin refugees.
Though no one was injured in the cross border incident, local villagers and refugees sheltering in the area were forced to take cover when Burmese soldiers stationed across the border in the Kachin state town of Loije directed several rounds of gun fire at the village. According to eyewitnesses the incident occurred at approximately 7 p.m. Burmese standard time.
Chinese authorities have yet to respond to the gun fire attack which left many local villagers and the Kachin refugees they have been helping very scared, a villager in La Ying told the Kachin New Group.
Burmese army soldiers and their allies from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army have been known to open fire on refugees camps located on the Thai side of Thai-Burma border however similar attacks on Chinese territory were rare until last year when the army began a full scale offensive in Kachin and northern Shan state.
La Ying, has been sheltering a large number refugees since fighting broke out last year between the Burmese army and Kachin Independence Organization. Talks held in China last week between the two sides failed to reach a ceasefire and the fighting continues.
Burmese Soldiers executed Chinese civilian in Chinese territory
The cross border shooting at La Ying came less than two weeks after a January 12 incident in which soldiers from the Burmese army shot and killed a Chinese civilian despite the fact that he was on the Yunnan side of the Sino-Burmese border, according to the man's relatives and eyewitnesses from the man's village, Loi Lung Bum.
An examination of Lahpai Zau Lawn's body shows that the ethnic Kachin (Jingpo) farmer was shot at close range in the abdomen and twice in head, his relatives say. A photo of Lahpai Zau Lawn's corpse provided by his family supports their conclusion that he was struck in the face with a butt of a gun before being killed.
The Kachin News Group has learned that Chinese authorities found blood stains and bullet cartridges on the Chinese side of the border, at the place where the 53 year old appears to have been summarily executed. Lahpai Zau Lawn's relatives say the man did not cross the border and was captured in China.
Zau Lawn's body was found a short distance away from where he appears to have been killed. In an apparent message to his fellow villagers, Burmese soldiers also planted two mines, one at the place where the blood stains were found and another mine where his body was found, according to a source familiar with the Chinese investigation.
The soldiers who carried out the attack on Zau Lawn are said to be from the Mu Bum base located on the Burmese side of the border and are part of the Shwenyaungpyin-based Light Infantry Battalion No. 321 under the Northern Regional Command, according to sources on the ground.
Villagers in the area say that Zau Lawn's killing was likely in retaliation for a December 22 incident in which two Burmese soldiers from Battalion No. 321, who crossed into China, were detained by local residents from the deceased man's village of Loi Lung Bum, located four miles inside China.
According to villagers familiar with the incident, the stray Burmese soldiers were hungry and crossed into China to steal food from a local farm. After capturing the two Burmese conscripts, villagers handed them over to Chinese authorities, prompting the Burmese army to seek revenge.