One soldier from Burma's army and a police officer were killed yesterday following an attack by the Kachin resistance in Muse township in northern Shan State, witnesses report. The attack by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) also injured three other government troops.
The guerrilla ambush took place at noon near Namtau village, close to Burma's '105th Mile Border Trade Zone', an area responsible for more than 70% of Burma's trade with China. According to KIA sources the assault was carried out by members of Battalion 36 under the KIA's 4th Brigade.
Despite President Thein Sein's recent public declaration that Burma's army must cease its offensive against the KIA, the armed forces known as the Tatmadaw, has during the past week sent an additional 500 troops to crush the 8th Battalion of the KIA's 4th Brigade. Over the last few days fighting between the 8th Battalion and government forces has been particularly fierce along a strech of territory slated to be the route of the Shwe gas pipeline project.
A roadway connecting the '105th Mile Border Trade Zone' to the rest of Burma, the Mandalay-Muse route, has sustained repeated attacks by the Kachin resistance since a ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the central government ended this past June.