Burma army shells land near Kachin IDP camps

Je Yang camp near KIO capital Laiza in eastern Kachin state in northern Burma

Over the last three days Burma army units stationed in Kachin state have repeatedly fired shells that landed near refugee camps situated in territory controlled by Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). No refugees were hurt by the shelling however the firing of shells near the camps has caused a great deal of concern among the refugees and aid workers, the Kachin News Group has learned.

On Saturday night shells fired by Burmese army forces stationed in eastern Kachin state near the Chinese border killing a buffalo in Bum Kahtawng, a village controlled by the KIO. Other shells also fired from Dum Bau Bum could be heard landing some 2 KM away from the Nhkawng Pa refugee camp. The camp is located about an hour drive north from the KIO's second town of Mai Ja Yang.

On Sunday night army units stationed near Laiza, the KIO's de facto capital, fired shells at Kachin Independence Army (KIA) targets under the group's 5th Brigade. Some of the shells landed close to Je Yang camp. Je Yang is the largest refugee camp in the KIO controlled area and is home to more than 8,000 people.

The KIO's chief spokesperson Lah Nan told the Irrawaddy magazine Lah Nan that 9 shells in total 9 shells landed near Laiza on Sunday. Last Wednesday the Burma army fired shells at a training ground near Laiza killing 23 cadets. The killing of the trainees has caused a great deal of angry among the Kachin community worldwide.


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