Aye Maung Shin, a member of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) died on Monday after being hit by a shell fired by Burmese military forces while stationed at a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) post near Laja Yang, an area close to the group's Laiza headquarters.
Speaking from the frontline a KIA officer told the Kachinn News Group that Aye Maung Shin was killed when a shell landed in a bunker where he was standing. The motor rounds are believed to have been fired from government positions at nearby Hang Kai Bum mountain.
It is has also been reported that the government forces suffered casualties on Monday however details could not be confirmed.
Formed by students opposed to Burma's military regime in 1989, ABSDF forces are now actively working with troops from the KIA in Kachin state, resuming a supporting role the group played before the Kachin Independence Organization's (KIO) 1994 ceasefire with Burma's government. At the group's height ABSDF boasted some 20,000 troops who were spread in both ethnic areas of northern and eastern Burma. Today ABSDF is estimated to have less than 300 troops in uniform.
Last week ABSDF's first chairman Htun Aung Kyaw and his two successors Moe Thee Zun and Dr. Naing Aung all arrived in Rangoon for the first time since they went underground two decades ago. All three are no longer affiliated with the group which continues to maintain a small presence in Karen National Union (KNU) territory in eastern Burma.