Burmese military have been shelling Seng Tawng in Hpakant Township in Kachin State since the end of May, according to locals. Residents reported heavy shelling by Infantry Battalion 16 have killed one civilian and injured 6 others.
The Burmese battalion is under the command of Company commander Captain Aung Ko Latt and Deputy Commander Lieutenant Ko Ko Oo.
The recent shelling in the town comes after the Burmese army has reinforced their troops in Hpakant Township since early May leading to an increase of clashes with Kachin Independence Army's (KIA) Brigade Two occurring across the township. The township has been important economically for the KIA due to taxes collected from the many jade mining operations.
In Seng Tawng, artillery attacks which struck near the Seven Star jade mine have killed one employee and injured five workers, according to eye witnesses. Shelling also hit a Chinese Baptist Church injuring one civilian.
The injured civilians are receiving medical treatment in the local hospital.
Several other residences were destroyed by the shelling.
The Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) Second Brigade sent out advance warnings to civilians advising to stockpile rations after they predicted attacks by the Burmese army when local government authorities ordered most of the jade mine companies to withdraw by the end of May.
The timing of the increase of clashes occurring around Hpankant Township coincided with informal peace talks between a government peace negotiating team and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in Mai Ja Yang at the beginning of June.
Over 75, 00 people have been displaced by the conflict which started over one year ago (June 9) after the government broke a 17-year ceasefire with the KIO.